World’s first industrial-scale solar fuel plant
DAWN is the world’s first industrial-scale solar fuel plant. With this plant, Synhelion will demonstrate the entire Sun-to-Liquid process on an industrial scale. DAWN is located in Jülich, Germany, and will feature the four key innovations developed by Synhelion: heliostat field, solar receiver, thermochemical reactor, and thermal energy storage. DAWN will produce several thousand liters of solar fuel per year.
The commissioning of DAWN takes place in 2023/2024. The fuels produced will be used to demonstrate various possible use cases. For example, Swiss International Air Lines will be the first airline to fly on Synhelion’s solar kerosene. After building the industrial demonstration plant DAWN, Synhelion plans to commission the first commercial solar fuel plant in Spain, which will be able to produce 1’000 tons of solar fuel per year.
Total mirror surface area: 1’500 m2
Solar input power: 600 kW
Tower height: 20 meters
Financed by Synhelion + EUR 3.92 M from BMWK
Brainergy Park Jülich, Germany
Customers: Swiss International Air Lines and other key customers
How it works
Watch this video to see how DAWN technology works.
A mirror field tracks the path of the sun, reflecting the solar radiation and concentrating it onto the receiver on the solar tower. Here, the solar energy is converted into high-temperature process heat of over 1’000°C. This heat is fed to the reactor, together with methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) of biowaste origin from a local paper mill, as well as water (H2O), and drives the thermochemical reaction in the reactor to produce syngas, a mixture of H2 and CO. The syngas is then processed by standard gas-to-liquid technology into solar fuels. The integrated thermal energy storage enables round-the-clock fuel production.
The road that led to DAWN
See below to learn about the most important milestones that led to the construction of DAWN, the world’s first industrial-scale solar fuel plant.