Brenmiller's transformation: From concentrated solar power to thermal energy storage

May 19, 2022 | Case Study

In the past decade, the capital cost of utility-scale solar photovoltaics (PV) dropped by 82% from USD 5.66/W to USD 1.01/W. This evolution drove many companies developing concentrated solar power (CSP) out of the market. One such CSP company was Solel Solar Systems, which was founded by Avi Brenmiller and acquired by Siemens in 2009, for USD 420 million, when it was not obvious whether solar PV or CSP would win the market. Only four years later in 2013, Siemens exited the CSP business. But the story does not end here: Avi Brenmiller founded Brenmiller Energy in 2012, a company focused on thermal energy storage (TES). Brenmiller's technology uses crushed rocks as the medium to store sensible heat up to 750 ÂșC. The stored heat can be discharged via inherent pipes into steam or hot water, which can be utilized for power generation or on-demand heating.

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