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.
View a listing of recent publications, listed by date.
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.
Two photovoltaic cell sides are better than one, especially when trailing the sun, according to a recent Joule journal article published by an international group of scientists, including Sandian Joshua S. Stein. The researchers’ techno-economic [...]
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 [...]