Aus helps develop US next-gen solar thermal technology

Aus helps develop US next-gen solar thermal technology

The US Government is funding a pilot-scale testing facility to show a next-generation concentrated solar thermal (CST) technology that Australia helped develop. The Sandia falling particle system has been developed over the previous two years with vital enter from Australia, together with CSIRO, the Australian National University and the University of Adelaide.

CSIRO is without doubt one of the principal exterior contributors to the falling particle CST technology being developed by US-based Sandia Laboratories, which can obtain US$25 million from the US Department of Environment in the direction of building of the demonstration plant in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The technology — which includes a falling curtain of small particles that’s heated by concentrated daylight — is 100% renewable and may retailer a number of hours of thermal power for agency, totally dispatchable energy era. It is a straightforward, thermally steady and comparatively low-cost system with functions for energy era and warmth processing throughout mining, mineral processing, chemical processing and different high-temperature industrial processes.

The particles are heated to nicely over 700°C after which saved as thermal power to be used day or night time, to generate electrical energy or to offer high-temperature industrial course of warmth. Temperatures over 1000°C are potential relying on the method.

Managed by way of the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute (ASTRI), Australia’s contribution concerned a 10-year, $100 million worldwide analysis collaboration, with 50% funding offered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

CSIRO, by means of ASTRI, has additionally constructed its personal pilot-scale falling particle system at its Newcastle solar power facility.

Wes Stein, ASTRI Chief Technology Officer and CSIRO Solar Thermal Research Manager, mentioned CSIRO is anticipating to check its falling particle system utilizing concentrated daylight within the subsequent few weeks.

“We are delighted that our US colleagues have selected this technology as the pathway forward for CST technology,” Stein mentioned. “We have been working closely with the US for several years on the next generation of CST technology and the US decision reflects our efforts and recognises Australian contributions to the development of this system.”

This subsequent section of the US challenge will design and check a megawatt-scale thermal falling particle CST system. As an illustration challenge, it should have the potential to function for hundreds of hours and has been designed for over six hours of power storage at temperatures nicely over 700°C.

Image caption: CSIRO’s National Solar Energy Centre in Newcastle is used for creating high-temperature concentrating solar thermal technology. Image ©John Marmaras

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