Testing Capabilities

The site was built and instrumented to provide test facilities for a variety of solar and non-solar applications.

Solar Tower

1. 350W/cm2

2. 6.2 MWth

Solar Furnace

1. 16 kW

2. 600 W/cm2

Molten Salt Test Loop

1. Three Test Loops

2. 60% NaNo3/40% KNO3

3. 300-585C

Optical equipment located in this lab space and the tools developed using DOE funds allows for optical characterization of heliostat and dish facets. These flexible analytical tools, along with the on-site expertise, currently support the evaluation and development of low-cost, high-performance heliostat facets. The tools are also applicable to assembly/production line environments. In addition, field support for characterization and alignment of CSP systems is provided. SOFAST, a highly accurate fringe-reflection-based measurement tool, is used to characterize and set the focus heliostat facets in the laboratory. HFACET is an optical-based alignment tool that is used to efficiently re-align the facets after re-attaching them to the heliostat. AIMFAST is used to characterize dish facets and align dish systems. Reflectance(q) is a measurement set-up to measure the surface solar-weighted reflectance versus angle of incidence.

Point of Contact: Randy Brost

The one-of-a-kind High-Flux Solar Simulator with Automated Sample Handling & Exposure System (ASHES) can be used 24/7 with metal-halide lamps. ASHES provides accelerated lifetime aging tests for materials under high-temperature/high-flux conditions. A robotic sample-handling system can be used to move multiple coupons automatically into and out of the concentrated flux sequentially to expose the samples to predetermined temperatures, fluxes, and/or durations. The peak irradiance is ~1.1 MW/m2 with an average irradiance of ~0.9 MW/m2 over a spot size of ~1 inch (2.5 cm).

Point of Contact: Randy Brost