12 September 2012
Areva Solar is collaborating with US Sandia National Laboratories on a new concentrated solar power (CSP) installation with thermal energy storage. The CSP storage project combines Areva’s modular Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) solar design with Sandia Labs’ proven molten-salt storage system. This will be the first CSP integration with Sandia Labs’ Molten-Salt Test Loop System located at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Solar Thermal Test Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico (US).
Incorporating thermal energy storage enables CSP plants to provide power generation over longer period of times (after sunset, for instance) or to shift power delivery to another time period. Therefore, it gives plant operators more flexibility, enabling them to accurately match electricity supply with demand and support grid reliability.
This CLFR molten-salt storage system, which will be commercially available in 2013, expands Areva Solar’s suite of dispatch-able CSP solutions, including solar/natural-gas hybrid plants and solar augmentation of new and existing fossil-fuelled plants. Areva has CSP projects in operation and under construction in the US, India and Australia.
Areva Solar’s CLFR molten salt storage system begins with its proven, reliable CLFR design, an array of mirrors that concentrates the sun’s energy to heat a working fluid in an elevated receiver. But instead of using water as its working fluid, this system uses molten salt in an elevated vacuum-tube receiver. The system draws molten salt from a cold (290°C, 554°F) tank, uses the temperature from the mirrors to heat it to as high as 550°C (1022°F) and passes that hot liquid to a separate tank for storage. When needed, the high-temperature molten salt passes through a heat exchanger to produce steam for electricity generation. The molten salt then returns to the cold tank and the process is repeated in a closed-loop system.
(module Related Stories}