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

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.
Working in conjunction with the Photovoltaics Systems Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the department has developed parabolic trough, power tower, and dish/engine technology to support virtually every major solar thermal electric activity in the United States. In conjunction with industry, our staff have had pivotal technical and programmatic roles in the Solar Two power tower project; dish/engine joint venture programs with SAIC, Allied Signal, and Boeing; and in the development of advanced concepts, components (heliostats, solar receivers, and engines), and systems. We also support a range of systems analyses, market identification studies, and international cooperative projects (through the International Energy Agency (IEA) working group SolarPACES), conducted in cooperation with industry partners.

We partner with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and provide R&D on CSP components and systems, advanced component development, component and systems analysis, test and evaluation, and supporting market development activities.
Provides experimental engineering data for the design, construction, and operation of unique components and systems in proposed solar thermal electrical plants, which have three generic system architectures: line-focus, point-focus central receiver, and point-focus distributed receiver.
Sandia has developed several solar resource models and tools.

DOE EERE Technologist in Residence Pilot

The EERE Technologist in Residence pilot program is intended to catalyze strong national laboratory–industry relationships that result in significant growth in high-impact collaborative R&D. This pilot program’s goals are to

increase collaborative R&D between national laboratories […]

Sandians Win ‘Best Paper’ Award at Photovoltaic Conference in Japan

A research team that included Sandians Clifford Hansen and Joshua Stein (in Sandia’s Photovoltaic & Distributed Systems Integration Dept.) and Katherine Klise (in Sandia’s Geotechnology and Engineering Dept.) received a Best Paper Award for their […]

Sandia Research on PV Arc-Fault Detection Submitted for US Patent

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PV Plant Performance Technical Briefing Published in PV Power Tech

The state of the art in PV system monitoring is relatively simplistic, relying either on comparisons of outputs between various parts of the system (e.g., inverters) or on an evaluation of a performance metric that normalizes […]

SolarReserve Is Testing Prototype Heliostats at NSTTF

SolarReserve is testing engineering units at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) operated by Sandia. The company says it decided to test its prototype heliostats at NSTTF because of Sandia’s, “knowledge and reputation in […]

Solar Regional Test Center in Vermont Achieves Milestone Installation

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Sandia Report Presents Analysis of Glare Impacts of Ivanpah Solar Power Site

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) consists of three 459-ft-tall power towers and over 170,000 reflective heliostats with a rated capacity of 390 MW. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has received numerous pilot and air […]

High-Efficiency Solar Thermochemical Reactor for Hydrogen Production

On June 16th, the Department of Energy Fuel Cell Technology Office (FCTO) announced $20 million for 10 R&D projects to advance technologies that can economically produce and deliver hydrogen to power fuel cells from diverse, […]

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.