Heliogen Demonstrates AI-Powered Autonomous Robot Designed to Lower Installation and Maintenance Costs of Full-Scale Concentrated Solar Plants
ICARUS, Heliogen’s Installation & Cleaning Autonomous Robot & Utility Solution, is Expected to be Enhanced and Deployed Across Heliogen’s Full-Scale Facilities by 2023
PASADENA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AI–Heliogen (the “Company”), a leading provider of AI-enabled concentrated solar power, today announced a new technological breakthrough in the production of low-cost renewable energy. In field tests at Heliogen’s Lancaster, California facility, the Company successfully completed the first technical demonstration of an autonomous field maintenance system, Heliogen’s Installation & Cleaning Autonomous Robot & Utility Solution, or ICARUS. By bringing the same advanced technologies that enable its AI-enabled concentrated solar power systems to the task of installing and maintaining those systems, the Company’s latest innovation is expected to significantly reduce the time to deploy its concentrated solar facilities, as well as the costs associated with construction and ongoing maintenance.
Heliogen’s concentrated solar facilities employ arrays of mirrored heliostats that require upkeep and cleaning to ensure peak optical performance and a high level of energy generation efficiency. With traditional solar plants, conventional manual cleaning methods are expensive and labor-intensive, and as such, are only completed once every few months. To improve cost savings and operational efficiency, Heliogen designed the ICARUS system, which utilizes GPS, ultrasonic rangefinders and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensors for completely autonomous operation, while also collecting performance data to achieve operational and cost efficiency for the entire lifecycle of the mirror field. The ICARUS system is designed to autonomously clean a field of mirrors on a predetermined schedule, keeping the system at peak performance with minimal human intervention required.
In addition to cleaning and maintenance operations, ICARUS can also be used to reduce the cost of system installation by autonomously delivering heliostats from an assembly or inventory location to the field and installing them with an accuracy of up to two centimeters. The ICARUS system can then record and transmit the installation position to the field model, improving the accuracy of the field control software and removing the need for expensive calibration. Heliogen’s future solar plant installations developed with ICARUS could be built around the clock, day or night, with computer-vision precision and with minimal physical labor.
ICARUS is designed to handle both structured and unstructured environments, maneuvering through varying topographies with ease. The system also has built-in obstacle detection and avoidance, so anything that suddenly appears in its path – whether people, animals, or debris – will be recognized and automatically avoided.
“Heliogen has pioneered the unique combination of hardware and software to drive up performance and drive down the costs of its concentrated solar systems. By taking advantage of huge boosts in processing power due to the advances of Moore’s Law, AI, computation, and computer vision, Heliogen aims to make solar energy more affordable than ever before,” said Bill Gross, founder and CEO of Heliogen. “This first technical demonstration of ICARUS is a leap forward in realizing Heliogen’s mission to replace fossil fuels with concentrated sunlight – cost-effectively and at scale.”
Heliogen’s breakthrough concentrated solar energy system utilizes AI to precisely align its mirrors with unprecedented accuracy, delivering carbon-free energy in the form of heat, power, or green hydrogen fuel. Harnessing the same advancements in AI and automation, ICARUS is designed to streamline the installation and maintenance of Heliogen’s future full-scale concentrated solar plants to bring down the cost of renewable energy for commercial and industrial applications. ICARUS is expected to be deployed across Heliogen’s full-scale facilities by 2023.
To see a video of breakthrough autonomy to reduce the cost of renewable energy in action, click here: https://bit.ly/heliogen-icarus.
Heliogen is a renewable energy technology company focused on eliminating the need for fossil fuels in heavy industry and powering a sustainable future. The company’s AI-enabled, modular concentrated solar technology aims to cost-effectively deliver near 24/7 carbon-free energy in the form of heat, power, or green hydrogen fuel at scale – for the first time in history. Heliogen was created at Idealab, the leading technology incubator founded by Bill Gross in 1996. For more information about Heliogen, please visit heliogen.com.
On July 6, 2021, Heliogen entered into a definitive business combination agreement with Athena Technology Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: ATHN). Upon the closing of the business combination, Heliogen will become publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol “HLGN”. Additional information about the transaction can be viewed here: heliogen.com/investor-center.
Additional Information and Where to Find It
In connection with the proposed business combination, Athena Technology Acquisition Corp. (“Athena”) has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) a registration statement on Form S-4 that has been declared effective by the SEC, which includes a prospectus of Athena with respect to the securities to be issued in connection with the business combination with Heliogen, Inc. (“Heliogen”) and a definitive proxy statement of Athena with respect to the Special Meeting. The combined proxy statement/prospectus relating to the proposed business combination will be mailed to Athena’s stockholders on or about December 6, 2021. This press release does not contain all the information that should be considered concerning the proposed business combination and is not intended to form the basis of any investment decision or any other decision in respect of the business combination. The proposed business combination and related transactions will be submitted to stockholders of Athena for their consideration. Athena’s stockholders and other interested persons are advised to read the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed in connection with Athena’s solicitation of proxies for its special meeting of stockholders to be held to approve, among other things, the proposed business combination and related transactions, because these materials contain important information about Heliogen, Athena and the proposed business combination and related transactions. The definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials for the proposed business combination will be mailed to stockholders of Athena as of November 23, 2021. Stockholders may also obtain a copy of the preliminary or definitive proxy statement/prospectus, once available, as well as other documents filed with the SEC by Athena, without charge, at the SEC’s website located at www.sec.gov or by directing a request to Phyllis Newhouse, President and Chief Executive Officer, Athena Technology Acquisition Corp., 125 Townpark Drive, Suite 300, Kennesaw, GA 30144, or by telephone at (970) 924-0446.
Participants in the Solicitation
Athena, Heliogen and their respective directors and executive officers and other persons may be deemed to be participants in the solicitations of proxies from Athena’s stockholders in respect of the proposed business combination and related transactions. Information regarding Athena’s directors and executive officers is available in its Registration Statement on Form S-1 and the prospectus included therein filed with the SEC on March 3, 2021. Additional information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests are contained in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus related to the proposed business combination and related transactions, and which can be obtained free of charge from the sources indicated above.
No Offer or Solicitation
This communication shall not constitute a solicitation of a proxy, consent or authorization with respect to any securities or in respect of the proposed transaction. This communication shall also not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any states or jurisdictions in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.
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