Synhelion completes construction phase for demonstration plant

14 June 2024 09:58


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Lugano/Jülich - Synhelion has installed the heliostat field for its first industrial-scale demonstration plant by the name of DAWN in the German town of Jülich. At this plant, from June 2024 onwards the company will produce carbon-neutral aviation fuel at this level using concentrated solar energy for the first time.

Synhelion will inaugurate its plant DAWN before the end of June 2024. As the company, which was founded in 2016 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, has now announced in a press release, the installation of all mirrors in the heliostat field has now been completed, bringing to an end the construction phase of this plant. As a result, Synhelion can now use this demonstration plant at the Research Center Jülich to establish the viability of its Sun-to-Liquid technology for the first time on industrial scale.

In parallel to this, Synhelion is planning its first commercial solar fuel plant in Spain, with operations expected to commence in 2025 or 2026. This should produce around 1,000 tons of solar fuel per year, which equates to approximately half of Switzerland’s aviation fuel requirement.

In Jülich, Synhelion broke ground on the DAWN project in 2022. The technology uses concentrated solar radiation for the thermochemical production of synthetic fuels. The solar thermal energy is generated using ultra-thin, curved and movable mirrors that are known as heliostats, plus a solar receiver positioned at the top of a tower.

The heliostat design developed by Synhelion is optimized for the generation of process heat at high temperatures. Fuels from the DAWN plant are to be used in flagship projects across the transport sector to demonstrate the importance of sustainable fuels for the energy transition. For example, the EU has stipulated that the aviation sector must use 70 percent CO2-neutral fuels from 2050 onwards. ce/mm

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