Meet the SME Instrument Innovators
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) uses mirrors and glass to concentrate solar power in small areas and transforms it into electricity. This sets a new standard in terms of low carbon footprint for solar energy, but until now, the used technology known as parabolic troughs has been resource and energy intensive to build and maintain. HELIOtube is building a cheaper and less resource intensive technology using recyclable plastic films as a raw material. And they are among the first companies that have used SME Instrument funds to build their power plant!
The new technology brings 55% cost savings and a 40% CO2 emissions reduction compared to the best future parabolic trough technologies. The 220m long inflatable cylindrical concentrators can be easily transported in a standard container to be displayed in sunny fields. It can concentrate light by a factor of 100 and heats the thermal receiver fluid to a temperature of 400 to 600° C – enough to provide steam to turbines that generate electricity. The rolled HELIOtube can be transported in a standard container and the tubes are inflated on site. This offers significant competitive advantages in materials, production, logistics, and installation costs.
HELIOVIS AG is a privately owned stock company founded in 2009 by the Austrian inventor Johannes Hoefler and the Swiss experimental and quantum physicist Felix Tiefenbacher with its headquarters in Austria. In the last seven years HELIOVIS has developed the HELIOtube technology and built a professional team of 25 international specialists. At present, HELIOVIS is active in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, US, and Australia. Considering the potential and the drive of the relatively new but massive Chinese CSP market, HELIOVIS and its shareholders decided to actively expand its business on a fast track.
In November 2015 HELIOVIS received an SME Instrument Phase 2 grant for the project HELIOtubes. The project's objective is to design, deploy and run a large scale pilot in Spain, including the in-field test of transport and installation logistic operations. This demo will lead to the qualification necessary for commercialisation. The project main proponent HELIOVIS AG, holding the patents and the innovative know-how on the collector that will work in collaboration with the German company MachtWissen, expert in wind protections engineering and the production of components for solar thermal energy plants. HELIOtube will span 2 years with a budget of 3.5ML eur. Before this, Heliovis has received several awards including the Austrian States Prize for Innovation in 2013.
Read more about HELIOVIS and watch a video of the pilot plant Heliovis has built in Villalgordo del Júcar, a 1.100 inhabitant town in Spain:
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