Developing solar thermal electric technologies for the Department of Energy's 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.

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 FedBizOpps.gov site.

Sandia National Laboratories to host a Tour of the Vermont Regional Test Center as part of the Catalyst of the Climate Economy Summit September 8, 2017

Catalysts of the Climate Economy is a 3-day national innovation summit, September 6-8 in Burlington, Vermont to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders who are accelerating economic development by solving the unprecedented challenges presented [...]

DOE SunShot Photo Contest: Earn Cash Prizes for Solar Energy Photos

The Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative is hosting the “Hit Me with Your SunShot” photo contest with up to $2,500 in cash prizes, including a $500 grand prize. This new photo contest wants to see how [...]

Webinar July 20: Using Machine Learning and Data Analysis to Improve Customer Acquisition and Marketing in Residential Solar

A free webinar on Thursday, July 20, 2017, from 1–2 p.m. ET, will share exciting new research by Sandia National Laboratories, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Vanderbilt University on how data analytics, machine learning, [...]

Regional Test Centers Validate the Performance of Solar PV Technologies in Multiple Climates, Annual Report Now Available

Sandia National Laboratories has published the first annual report detailing the progress of the US Department of Energy’s Regional Test Center (RTC) program, which is now working with 20 industry partners and has installed 549kW [...]

Sandia National Laboratories Experts Co-Author DOE Reports on Grid Integration and Concentrating Solar Power

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released On the Path to SunShot, a series of eight reports that takes stock of progress made halfway into the ten-year SunShot Initiative and highlights remaining opportunities for [...]

High-Temperature Falling Particle Receiver Reaches New Limits

At its National Solar Thermal Test Facility, Sandia National Laboratories recently completed a 3½-year project funded by DOE’s SunShot Initiative to develop a high-temperature falling particle receiver, in which sand-like ceramic particles are heated as [...]

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 [...]

CSP Contacts

Concentrating Solar Technologies Dept. Acting Manager
Dr. Clifford Ho | Phone: 505-844-2384

Optics, Collectors, and Dishes
Chuck Andraka | Phone: 505-844-8573
Dr. Julius Yellowhair | Phone: 505-844-3029

Power Tower Component Design/Modeling
Josh Christian | Phone: 505-284-5190
Dr. Ryan R. Anderson | Phone: 505-845-3426

Solar Furnace
Josh Christian | Phone: 505-284-5190
Dr. Ryan R. Anderson | Phone: 505-845-3426

Test Facilities
Dr. Ryan R. Anderson| Phone: 505-845-3426
William J. Kolb, J | Phone: 505-844-1935

Thermal Storage
William J. Kolb, J | Phone: 505-844-1935
Josh Christian | Phone: 505-284-5190

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.