The Molten Salt Test Loop (MSTL) at Sandia National Laboratories’ National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) has successfully completed commissioning and demonstrated outstanding performance and control throughout the full range of operating parameters. The commissioning step confirms that a newly constructed facility meets all of the design requirements. The Molten Salt Test Loop was designed to provide three parallel test platforms for the performance and evaluation of concentrating solar collectors or individual components in flowing molten nitrate salt in plant-like conditions. The commissioning confirmed the system’s ability to control flow simultaneously in the parallel test loops which will allow multiple customers to operate experiments at the same time. The testing also showed the system to far exceed design requirements by providing flowing salt up to 700 gpm or up to 625 psi and temperature range of 300–585 °C. If you are interested in testing components or concentrating solar systems with the MSTL system, please contact Dr. David Gill (505) 844-1524.
When a customer wants to test using MSTL, the vertical loops shown here is removed and the customer’s experiment is put in place of the loop. Customer experiments can be as small as testing instrumentation on materials, or as large as on-sun testing of concentrating solar collection modules.
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.