An innovative CSP storage demonstration project is being pursued by Sandia National Laboratories and Areva at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Solar Thermal Test Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The CSP storage pilot project, partly funded by the DOE, uses the French industrialist’s Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) technology married to a molten salt test loop to reduce the cost of concentrating solar power projects.
“Using molten salt in CSP storage to extend daily solar electricity generation is not new. But combining it with CLFR technology is. The result is a dependable, lower-cost storage system that provides users the advantages of CLFR technology along with the benefits of extended dispatchability through molten salt storage — day and night,” said Bill Gallo, CEO of AREVA Solar.
How AREVA’s CLFR Molten Salt System Works
AREVA Solar’s CLFR molten salt storage system begins with its CLFR design — an array of mirrorsthat concentrate 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) tank, uses the heat from the mirrors to heat it to as high as 550°C, 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.