We conduct research and development (R&D) in solar power, including photovoltaics and concentrating solar power, to strengthen the U.S. solar industry and improve the manufacturability, reliability, and cost competitiveness of solar energy technologies and systems.
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Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) uses mirrors to concentrate a large area of sunlight, onto a small area. Electrical power is produced when the concentrated light is converted to heat which drives a generator.
In virtually all applications CSP is large power, on the order of 100 MW or larger, that is used by utilities to generate electricity and distribute to consumers. In a CSP plant, solar energy is converted to heat and the heat is used in a conventional power cycle or other heat engine to produce mechanical power and drive a generator.
This unique facility provides experimental engineering data for the design, construction, and operation of unique components and systems in proposed solar thermal electrical plants; planned for large-scale power generation. At 200 feet tall, the NSTTF’s distinct height advantage along with its heat capabilities, offers a unique and complete testing environment to government contractors and agencies, research institutes, universities and private companies.
Representatives from SunPower Corporation, a leading US solar manufacturer and global competitor, recently visited Sandia National Laboratories to inspect the manufacturer’s experimental photovoltaic (PV) system at the New Mexico Regional Test Center (RTC), co-located with [...]
The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced the 2020 SolarPACES conference will take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Conference-goers will have the opportunity to visit Sandia National Laboratories’ National Solar Thermal Test Facility and the [...]
On Aug. 28, 2019, an influential group pf policymakers, administrators and researchers toured the Nevada Regional Test Center (RTC) in Henderson, Nevada—currently one of several sites managed by Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) for the U.S. [...]