The Distributed Receiver Test Facility (DRTF) has two 11-m-diameter parabolic dishes, known as Test Bed Concentrators (TBCs), which provide 75 kW total thermal power each, and are used for testing solar components and performing reimbursable tests. The dishes track the sun in two axes to provide very high concentrations (1500 W/cm² of solar power over a small area).
The Test Facility provides:
75 kW total thermal power each
Peak flux up to 1500 W/cm²
Tailoring of power level and flux distribution by varying the alignment of facets
Square-wave transients from shutters mounted at the focal plane
Data acquistion equipment
IR-camera imaging and storage
Applications using these dishes include:
Testing heat engines connected to electrical generators at the focal point of the dish
Measuring the thermophysical properties of materials
Simulating aerodynamic heating, as would occur in reentry vehicles
Evaluating thermal and photocatalytic solar receivers
Using the dishes as optical telescopes for astronomy
Collecting light for atmospheric sounding with Lidar
Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.