Name of infrastructure: Solar Research Facilities Unit (SRFU)

Location (town, country): Rehovot, Israel

Legal name of organisation operating the infrastructure: Weizmann Institute of Science (WEIZMANN)

The Weizmann Institute of Science (WEIZMANN) is an international center of scientific research and graduate education, located in Rehovot, Israel

The SRFU is located on the WEIZMANN campus. The Solar Research Facilities Unit (SRFU), has a very sophisticated solar tower with a north field of 64 heliostats, 56 m2 each which, on a bright day can collect 3 MWth of solar radiation in total. The tower has 4 vertical experimental levels, 3 indoor and one outdoor on the roof for when special safety precautions are required for the tests, e.g. large scale hydrogen or syngas production, etc.

One of the indoor experimental levels has three horizontal test stations for experiments in the range of 1-100 kW that can be operated in parallel since they are irradiated by different parts of the heliostat field. The other 3 experimental levels can, in principle, be exposed to the entire power of the field, but normally experiments conducted are up to 1MW to allow as many experiments as possible to be done in parallel.

In addition, the facility has a unique 0.5 MW beam-down facility, which has no equal in any other solar research facility in the world. Its unique optics include a tower reflector shaped like a section of a hyperboloid having a reflective surface area of about 70m2 and a ground secondary concentrator which has a 2.2 meter aperture diameter, a height of 5m and is able to enhance the incoming radiation by a factor of 16 for an output power of 0.5 MW at an average concentration of about 4000.

This unique facility has been used for testing a solarized gas turbine and more recently to test a 350 kW process for carbo-reduction of ZnO in the framework of the SOLZINC project. It is especially suitable for testing solid-solid and solid-gas components.

Each of the experimental levels and test stations are served by centralised basic infrastructure services, such as cooling water, compressed air, instrumentation air, vacuum, emergency cooling, etc. There are full communication channels with the central control room for testing. Specific control of each test and collection of its experimental data can be done at the experimental levels, which are each equipped with small control rooms (isolated and conditioned). These rooms accommodate the test data collection systems and their computers. In the case of large experiments, the central control room can accommodate up to three different control consoles.

The facility provides full operating services for the heliostats field in front of each experiment and technical assistance in connecting each experiment to the different central service systems.

A special service is provided for calculating, designing and fabricating suitable concentrating optics and specifically the secondary devices to meet each and every experiment’s requirement. This is done by special computer codes and expertise developed at the SRFU

The facilities offered for solar research at WEIZMANN are:
ST100kW , ST2MW

For further information on these facilities, visit the web site or request for further details to where your request will be redirected to the appropriate partner.