Hospital makes historic shift to sustainable electric heat

Sep 19, 2023 5:38 am | Israel21c


Israeli thermal energy storage pioneer Brenmiller Energy of Rosh Ha’ayin will supply electric process heat to Wolfson Medical Center in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon, replacing existing steam boilers powered by natural gas.

Brenmiler’s bGen ZERO uses renewable energy resources, as well as waste heat, to heat crushed rocks to very high temperatures. The heat can remain stored in the rocks for minutes, hours or even days before being converted into low-cost clean steam, hot water or hot air on demand.

The Israeli Ministry of Finance, which will contribute up to 14 million shekels (approximately $3.7 million) toward the cost of the installation, estimates that the bGen ZERO system could save the hospital approximately $1.3 million annually and reduce its carbon footprint by 3,900 tons per year.

This is the first hospital in the world that will generate steam with thermal energy storage, according to Brenmiller.  

Subject to negotiation and execution of the definitive agreement, Brenmiller expects to deliver its technology and supply heat to Wolfson Medical Center at zero upfront cost through an agreement for a seven-year term.

Brenmiller Energy Chairman and CEO Avi Brenmiller said the plan “is a great example of how novel, clean energy technologies have the potential to meet the demanding needs of critical, large-scale facilities like hospitals.”

He notes that bGen ZERO “will help alleviate high energy costs for Wolfson Hospital and lower its local carbon footprint by capturing electricity from the grid during hours of the day when prices are low and storing it for use when demand peaks.”

In January, Brenmiller Energy became the first Israeli company to win a World CleanTech Award from the CleanTech Business Club, a group of industry, government, investment and thought leaders from 36 countries who work to increase investments in clean and green energies throughout the world.

Chairman and CEO Avi Brenmiller accepting the CleanTech Business Club’s outstanding startup award in Abu Dhabi, January 16, 2023. Photo courtesy of Brenmiller Energy

The company is already setting up operations in New York, Brazil and Italy, among other places. In May, Brenmiller inaugurated a thermal energy storage gigafactory in southern Israel designed to have 4GWh of annual production capacity. Its power comes from rooftop solar panels.

“We’re Israeli—we’re building technologies that can reach up to 1400°F in the middle of the desert—we know a thing or two about harnessing heat, and we’re ready to share that knowledge with the world,” said Brenmiller.

“What started as a family business has grown into a company that can help the global economy’s efforts to decarbonize, and we believe our gigawatt-scale production capacity will allow us to meet growing demand for our solutions from industrial and utility customers.”

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