Apr, 2021 - By WMR
Rio Tinto has revealed that it will develop a Heliogen's high-temperature "solar refinery" pilot version at a boron mine in California in 2022, which will produce clean energy and heat for industrial operations.
Heliogen's invention is an AI-enhanced prototype of a focused solar thermal generator, which is made up of a large array of mirrors encircling a tall structure that measures the position of Sun in the sky and tilts itself to accurately reflect sunlight into a collector at the end. When there are a huge number of these mirrors – probably thousands – collecting sunlight around a large area and concentrating it all on one spot, the collector becomes incredibly hot. Heliogen's demo plant in Lancaster, California, reached temperatures to around 1,832 °F in 2019, and the firm is now dreaming about temperatures of over 3,272 °F using a comparatively limited field of AI-guided mirrors.
For steam production, the temperature could be utilized, which will then be turned into energy by generators, or it can be stored for use outside of daytime hours. If the pilot is satisfactory, Rio Tinto will determine the plant upgrade its current production rate for three-fold and the state's strategy is to pilot the technique with the intention of replicating it at other Rio Tinto facilities worldwide with enough sunlight. Although, the banner for Heliogen has an ability to show the fragments. The ability to generate high temperatures and electricity at any time of night or day makes this technology very attractive to a number of companies looking for environmentally friendly ways to generate both.
Heliogen CEO and Founder Bill Gross states: “Hydrogen has been laser-focused on decarbonizing industrial industries, including mining, since the company's inception. Moreover, we're excited to take this important step toward Heliogen's goal of avoiding more over 1 gigaton of CO2 emissions – or 3% of the world's overall annual CO2 emissions – from the global economy by transforming sunlight to an industrial energy source.”