Areva has started operation of a molten salt energy storage demonstration plant at Sandia National Laboratories' National Solar Thermal Test Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Areva has started operation of a molten salt energy storage demonstration plant at Sandia National Laboratories’ National Solar Thermal Test Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The project, which was partially funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), is designed for use with Areva’s Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR), which uses an array of mirrors to heat a working fluid to high temperatures in an elevated tube receiver.
Test results demonstrate that the use of molten salt as a working fluid enables high temperature operations, reduces the volume of salt needed for storage, and removes the need for two sets of heat-exchangers in the system, Areva says. These efficiencies decrease the overall cost and complexity of the system.
As part of the project, Areva also intends to study the optimisation of operation & maintenance costs related to molten salt management in a real-world environment.
Combination of a molten salt test loop (MSTL) with Areva’s CLFR applications "provide a solution to capture the sun’s energy sun during the day and economically deliver renewable power to the grid at any time," said Sam Shakir, chief executive officer of Areva Solar.
Dr. Subhash L. Shinde, manager for the Concentrating Solar Technology Organization at Sandia National Laboratories added: "This is an enabling technology that provides a possible path to realizing the Department of Energy driven Sunshot program goal to reduce the total installed cost of solar energy systems to $.06 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) by 2020."