Pasadena-based renewable energy technology company Heliogen has been selected to receive a $4,100,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO).
The company has been recognized for its technology which helps accelerate the large-scale development and deployment of concentrating solar-thermal power.
Concentrating solar-thermal power has many applications in various industries and electrical power generation and storage. In this particular project, Heliogen will demonstrate a solar-driven version of a device called a calciner, which performs a heated chemical reaction to remove carbon dioxide from limestone for cement production.
The prototype calciner, which Heliogen will also design, will be able to operate at high temperatures up to 950 °C from the sun’s heat only, which will significantly reduce carbon emissions.
“We are very pleased to have been selected for this award, which will accelerate our R&D efforts and enable us to further demonstrate the impact of Heliogen’s CSP technology,” Paul Gauche, Executive Vice President for Engineering at Heliogen, Inc., said. “This project is an important step in our mission to enable the decarbonization of heavy industries like cement production, essential to meeting global greenhouse gas emissions targets.”
Heliogen’s advanced AI computer vision software precisely aligns an array of heliostats – computer-controlled mirrors – to reflect sunlight to a target on the top of a tower, which Heliogen calls a Sunlight Refinery, delivering high-temperature, carbon-free thermal energy. The baseline system will provide industrial-grade heat capable of replacing fossil fuels in industrial processes including the production of cement, steel, and petrochemicals.
In December 2021, Heliogen was awarded a $39-million contract by the Department of Energy for the deployment of the company’s new CSP technology.
Last March, Heliogen announced it had started setting up its first full-scale manufacturing facility in Long Beach which will include assembly lines, an expansive test facility, and a rapid development center for the production of heliostats and other components in the company’s concentrated solar energy system.