Molten Salt Tower Receiver
The key advantage in a power tower CSP system with direct molten salt heat transfer and storage is that it can deploy inexpensive and scalable thermal storage, thereby enabling cost-effective 24-hour electricity generation using only solar energy. SolarReserve is the industry leader in this technology, with the successful design, engineering, fabrication and erection of the world’s largest capacity molten salt tower receiver at the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in the United States.
SolarReserve exclusively licensed and then acquired Aerojet Rocketdyne’s intellectual property (IP) rights and patents related to molten salt technology for concentrating solar-thermal power and electricity storage applications. This proprietary technology was developed and tested by rocket scientists at Rocketdyne for more than two decades, with over 100 patents and patents pending.
- Height of the tower plus receiver in a typical project is 640 feet (195 meters)
- The receiver appears circular, but actually consists of 14 panels, each made up of 66 thin-wall straight tubes
- The receiver tubes are made of a proprietary high nickel based alloy steel finished with a high absorptivity black coating
- Molten salt flows at a rate of about 5,800 gallons per minute through the two receiver circuits, each consists of 7 panels
- Liquid salt is heated from 550⁰F (288⁰C) to 1050⁰F (566⁰C); this high temperature differential stores more energy in less salt compared to other technologies
- By using molten salt as both a heat transfer fluid (HTF) as well as a thermal energy storage medium, SolarReserve’s CSP plants efficiently and cost effectively store the sun’s energy, enabling electricity to be generated and dispatched when it is most valuable, night or day
- Salt is circulated through the receiver during the day, and held in storage tanks into the night – requiring no fossil fuels
- The salt is recirculated and reused throughout the 30+ years of plant operation with no expected loss
- SolarReserve’s molten salt tower receiver design enables significant flexibility in the relative sizing of the solar field, storage amount, and power block capacity
- SolarReserve’s molten salt power tower technology can be most easily paired with commercial off the shelf steam generation and turbine generator equipment
- The technology can also most readily and easily supplement utility grade steam and displace conventional fuel use and associated environmental impact for conventional power plants
The SolarReserve molten salt receiver is a proven technology that will transform the electricity industry with a zero emission, fully dispatchable addition to traditional electricity generation facilities.