Developing Solar Thermal Electric Technologies for the DOE Solar Thermal Electric Program

The Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) program conducts research to reduce costs and identify opportunities for improvement of CSP technologies, advance understanding of CSP system behavior, increase efficiency and capacity for baseload CSP applications, and reduce risk for CSP technologies and increased levels of concentrating solar power in the transmission grid. The program also develops advanced modeling and validation techniques that integrate structural, optical, and thermal processes for better predictive and analytical capabilities.

Sandia uses a few spectral measurements to enhance PV performance models

The power generated by a PV cell depends on both the intensity and spectrum of the light incident on the cell. Silicon solar cells, for example, respond to both visible and near-infrared light, but differently: [...]

Fault Detection Tool Project: Automatic Discovery of Faults using Machine Learning

Advanced monitoring of photovoltaic (PV) systems can ensure efficient operations, but extensive monitoring of large quantities of data can be cumbersome for the individual analyst. To address this challenge, Sandia National Laboratories' Fault Detection Tool project [...]

Preliminary Results of Bifacial Project Released on the PVPMC

As reported on the PV Performance Modeling Collaborative (PVPMC), Sandia Labs is leading a three-year research project to study bifacial photovoltaic technology and performance. The project is sponsored by SunShot, a U.S. Department of Energy program. [...]

Sandia Labs and NREL Hosted Successful 2016 PV Reliability Workshop

Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) jointly organized the annual Photovoltaic Module Reliability Workshop. The February 2016 event attracted nearly 300 photovoltaics (PV) experts from national laboratories, industry, and academia to discuss advances in photovoltaic system [...]

Sandia Labs high-flux solar simulator with one-of-a-kind capability

The High-Flux Solar Simulator with automated sample handling and exposure system (ASHES) is a one-of-a-kind capability which can be used 24/7 with metal-halide lamps.  ASHES provides accelerated lifetime aging tests for materials under high-temperature/high-flux conditions.  A [...]

Sandia’s Continuously Recirculating Falling-Particle Receiver Placed Atop the Solar Tower

Sandia began first-of-its-kind testing using its continuously recirculating falling-particle receiver atop the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF). The falling-particle receiver drops sand-like ceramic particles through NSTTF’s concentrated sunlight beam, capturing and storing the heated [...]

University of Wisconsin–Sandia Team Awarded SunShot CSP: APOLLO Funding

With recently awarded funding from the US Department of Energy SunShot Initiative’s CSP: APOLLO Program (Concentrating Solar Power: Advanced Projects Offering Low LCOE Opportunities), Sandia is working with a team led by the University of [...]

Sandia’s Supercritical Carbon-Dioxide/Brayton-Cycle Laboratory Signs Important MOU with Industry Partners

Sandia and eight other companies and research organizations* will collaborate to advance a distributed power system that can produce cleaner, more efficient electricity. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) focuses on developing an energy-conversion system based [...]

Offering 50% cost match for collaborative CSP Technology Development Proposals
We are seeking proposals from commercial partners who would like to invest in developing new solar thermal technologies and/or validating technological concepts using Sandia’s expertise and infrastructure, including the National Solar Thermal Test Facility. Areas of possible collaboration include, but are not limited to, (1) novel research, development, and demonstration in reflector systems for efficient solar energy collection; (2) large-scale metrology; (3) receivers for solar-to-thermal energy conversion; (4) thermal energy storage; (5) combined cycles for high efficiency; and (6) modeling. Read the full solicitation and cost share details on the site.

CSP Contacts

Concentrating Solar Technologies Dept. Manager & CSP Program Manager
Dr. Subhash L. Shinde, Manager | Phone: 505-284-2965

Optics, Collectors, and Dishes

Power Tower Component Design/Modeling

Solar Furnace

Systems Analysis & Receivers

Dr. Clifford Ho | Phone: 505-844-2384

Test Facilities

Thermal Storage

Parabolic Troughs

Tim Moss | Phone: 505-844-7356

Solar Fuels

Dr. Andrea Ambrosini| Phone: 505-284-1340

PLEASE NOTE: All site visits to the National Solar Thermal Test Facility must be arranged in advance due to security requirements. Contact 505-844-1445 to arrange for a site visit.