In 2007, David Faiman, director of the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center, announced that the Center had entered into a project with Zenith to create a home solar energy system that uses a 10 square meter reflector dish. Zenith bought the rights to solar technology from Ben-Gurion University and Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE to create solar energy using mirrors and lenses that magnify and focus the sun's rays. In testing, the concentrated solar technology proved to be up to five times more efficient than standard flat photovoltaic silicon panels, which would make it almost as cheap as oil and natural gas. A prototype ready for commercialization achieved a concentration of solar energy that was more than 1,000 times greater than standard flat panels. According to Faiman, who led the Israeli team that developed the technology, 10% of Israel’s energy needs (1,000 megawatts) could be met from 12 square kilometres of land.
Since 2009, Zenith Solar has been assembling solar panel kits at its factory in Kiryat Gat. The company uses CHP (combined heat and power) technology which reaches efficiencies of over 70%, compared to 10-15% for conventional PV panels. In addition to harvesting more energy from a smaller space, less landfill is produced from their waste. The materials are mirrors, plastic and metals, which are 99% recyclable.
- At the Zenith of Solar Energy, Neal Sandler, Businessweek, March 26, 2008.
- Reflective mirrors seen raising solar potential, Ari Rabinovitch, Reuters, August 10, 2007.
- Zenith Solar’s Light of a Thousand Suns, Green Prophet, December 17, 2007
- Born-again Ziontist revolutionizing solar energy field, Haaretz
- China's Suncore represented by Barnea & Co. acquired the assets of Israel's Zenith Solar, Barnea & Co