AREVA and Sandia began operations of their molten salt energy-storage demonstration plant designed specifically for use with AREVA’s compact linear Fresnel reflector (CLFR) technology. Funded partially by DOE, this full-scale project is being carried out at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) in Albuquerque.
Thanks to their significant collaboration, AREVA’s solar team and Sandia’s molten-salt technology experts have developed an innovative approach to energy storage that combines the molten salt test loop (MSTL) with AREVA’s CLFR applications. The result is a reliable and competitive solution which optimizes the benefits of CLFR technology by ensuring that the energy captured can be dispatched night or day through the use of molten-salt storage.
The successful test results demonstrate that the use of molten salt as a working fluid enables high-temperature operations, reduces the volume of salt needed for storage, and removes the need for two sets of heat-exchangers in the system. These efficiencies decrease the system’s overall cost and complexity. As part of the project, Sandia-AREVA team will also study the optimization of operations and maintenance costs related to molten-salt management in a real-world environment.
Sam Shakir, AREVA Solar CEO, said, “This innovative storage solution combines our proven and economical CLFR technology with the demonstrated use of molten salt as a heat-transfer and -storage fluid. Together, these technologies provide a solution to capture the sun’s energy sun during the day and economically deliver renewable power to the grid at any time.”
“This is an enabling technology that provides a possible path to realizing the Department of Energy-driven SunShot program goal to reduce the total installed cost of solar energy systems to $.06 per kilowatt-hour by 2020,” said Dr. Subhash L. Shinde, Sandia’s manager for Concentrating Solar Technology.
Download a Sandia fact sheet on the Molten Salt Test Loop.
Read the Sandia news release.
Read the AREVA news release.
Watch a brief video about this demonstration project.