247Solar founder and CEO Bruce Anderson, is a solar industry pioneer who led the invention and development of 247Solar’s unique round-the-clock clean electricity and heat technologies. Bruce began his solar career in 1973 when he completed his master’s thesis at MIT on solar energy. A decade later he became the first recipient of the American Solar Energy Society’s Lifetime Solar Contribution Award.
Bruce, thank you for accepting the invitation and for your time. Firstly, could you please explain 247Solar’s innovative 24/7 heat and power technologies?
247Solar has developed three commercial products based on core technologies with origins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT.
Our flagship product is our 247Solar Plant™, a modular, scalable CSP system that produces firmly dispatchable clean electricity and/or industrial process heat around the clock. Each 247Solar Plant produces up to 400kW of electricity and 600kW of heat and requires about two hectares of land. Multiple 247Solar plants can be used together to achieve any desired electrical or thermal capacity.
The core components of the 247Solar Plant are our unique 247Solar Collector™ that captures sunlight to heat atmospheric-pressure air to almost 1000C, a simple thermal storage system that stores some of this heat for 9 hours or more in sand or iron slag, and our unique Heat2Power™ turbine that uses the superheated atmospheric-pressure air to produce electricity without burning fuel.
The storage system and turbine are used together in our HeatStorE™ long-duration thermal battery. HeatStorE’s long-duration storage captures energy from solar, wind, or the grid and stores it as heat to produce firmly dispatchable electricity and/or industrial process heat for use as needed around the clock.
The Heat2Power turbine can also be used by itself to convert otherwise wasted hot industrial exhaust to electricity, to power a facility’s operations, or to be sold back to the grid.
What is 247Solar’s technology development status?
All of the components in 247Solar’s products are technically proven and most are in commercial use around the world.
Our solar collector is a scaled-up version of a smaller, pressurized system developed by the German Aerospace Center, DLR, one of Germany’s foremost research institutions. Our thermal storage uses off-the-shelf shipping-container-sized vessels that are currently in commercial production, and the turbine is a modified and tested version of the Capstone C200, the best-selling and most reliable turbine in its class in the world.
247Solar is currently building its first commercial-scale demonstration systems on two continents. We are constructing demonstration systems of both our 247Solar Plant and HeatStorE battery on land we own in Arizona, in the United States. We are also in advanced discussions to build a pilot of our 247Solar Plant in India. We expect both systems to be up and running this year.
We are also under negotiations with some companies for the deployment of a first SCHPS (Solar Combined Heat and Power with Storage) project in a factory in Spain. We have delivered a proposal to the Innovation Fund for this project.
What are your near-term applications and where are they located?
247Solar technologies have a huge range of applications because they solve fundamental problems with existing renewables – primarily PV and wind. They also offer clean energy solutions for sectors that are otherwise hard to decarbonize.
247Solar Plants™ overcome the intermittency of PV and wind to provide round-the-clock baseload power. HeatStorE™ overcomes the short durations, safety hazards and limited service life of lithium-ion batteries while storing and discharging both electricity and industrial grade heat. Our Heat2Power™ turbine produces electricity from almost any source of clean hot air, including concentrated sunlight but also from otherwise-wasted hot industrial exhaust.
For industry, this means full uptime during natural emergencies, with increased energy system reliability & operational flexibility. Our solutions provide fully dispatchable, 24/7 standby power on demand while simultaneously supplying process heat up to 250 ºC, (up to 640 ºC in a different version under development) and are particularly well-suited for off-grid mines and other facilities where they can provide round-the-clock baseload power and eliminate the need for gensets. Our system can run for about 6.000 h a year on sun energy and is able to use biogas to run more than 8.500 h a year without GHG emission.
For PV and wind farms, adding our technologies enables them to provide clean power overnight and in any weather, while capturing any excess generation to enable load shifting and eliminate demand charges. We can use the same existing grid connection to use it round-the-clock.
For rural communities 247Solar solutions operate every hour of the year to provide the super-reliable, clean baseload power essential for economic growth. And, if located near the point of use, 247Solar Plants offer the additional benefit of 24/7 industrial-grade heat to attract industry and create jobs.
For green hydrogen production 247Solar Plants™ are a round-the-clock zero carbon power solution, scalable to electrolysis facilities of any size. Their unique design produces both power and heat, which is necessary for the most efficient types of electrolyzers, SOECs.
To conclude, are you looking for partners to develop this technology?
We are always looking for investors, project partners and customers who see the unique value in clean energy systems that can help eliminate the use of fossil fuels for producing both electricity and heat. We encourage readers/listeners to learn more at www.247Solar.com, and I invite them to reach out to me directly at Bruce.Anderson@247Solar.com.
Thank you very much for your time.