Jacob Karni: The Next Phase in Large-Scale Solar Thermal Power Generation

-Abstract-

Demand for power and renewable-friendly policies have created opportunities and encouraged the development of other solar technologies for large-scale applications. Large plants based on photovoltaic (PV), concentrated PV, Linear Fresnel Reflectors, Central Receivers (solar tower) and Dish Concentrators are proposed. However, Trough systems are used in most of the 50MW or larger solar plants built over the last few years, presently in construction, or planned for the next few years.

* Will Trough remain the dominant large-scale solar technology?
* Can any solar system ever reach cost parity with conventional power plants?
* Can solar energy be stored and transported so it could be used at times and places with little or no sunlight, and for powering motor vehicles?
* What would it take for solar to become a major player in the power industry?

-About the Speaker-

Professor Karni has 20 years of research and development experience with keen interest in the development of new methods for concentration, absorption, conversion, transmission and storage of concentrated solar energy, and implementing these methods in genuine solar power-conversion systems.

Karni was Assistant Professor at the Mechanical Engineering Dept. of SUNY at Stony Brook, N.Y. from 1984 to 1989 and has been at the Weizmann Institute since 1989. He was a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota in the summers of 1994 and 1996, and at Johns Hopkins University in the 1998-98 school year. In January 2002, Prof. Karni was promoted to head the Weizmann's Energy Center and he also oversees the entire Institutes' solar program.

This seminar took place on October 6, 2009 as part of the MITEI Seminar Series. We thank CERA for its generous support of the Series.

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