This paper presents a novel process comprising solar upgrading of hydrocarbons by steam reforming in solar specific receiver-reactors and utilizing the upgraded, hydrogen-rich fuel in high efficiency conversion systems, such as gas turbines or fuel cells. In comparison to conventionally heated processes about 30% of fuel can be saved with respect to the same specific output. Such processes can be used in small scale as a stand-alone system for off-grid markets as well as in large scale to be operated in connection with conventional combined-cycle plants. The complete reforming process will be demonstrated in the SOLASYS project, supported by the European Commission in the JOULE/THERMIE framework. The project has been started in June 1998. The SOLASYS plant is designed for 300 $kWel$ output, it consists of the solar field, the solar reformer and a gas turbine, adjusted to operate with the reformed gas. The SOLASYS plant will be operated at the experimental solar test facility of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Start-up of the pilot plant is scheduled in April 2001. The midterm goal is to replace fossil fuels by renewable or non-conventional feedstock in order to increase the share of renewable energy and to establish processes with only minor or no $CO2$ emission. Examples might be upgrading of bio-gas from municipal solid waste as well as upgrading of weak gas resources.

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