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Technical Briefs

Thermophysical Properties of LiNO3–NaNO3–KNO3 Mixtures for Use in Concentrated Solar Power

[+] Author and Article Information
Kevin Coscia

Research Engineer
Dynalene, Inc.,
5250 West Coplay Road,
Whitehall, PA 18052
e-mail: kevinc@dynalene.com

Spencer Nelle

e-mail: sjn31010@lehigh.edu

Tucker Elliott

e-mail: tre210@lehigh.edu
Department of Mechanical Engineering
and Mechanics,
Lehigh University,
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Satish Mohapatra

President and CEO
Dynalene, Inc.,
5250 West Coplay Road,
Whitehall, PA 18052
e-mail: satishm@dynalene.com

Alparslan Oztekin

Professor
e-mail: alo2@lehigh.edu

Sudhakar Neti

Professor
e-mail: sn01@lehigh.edu
Department of Mechanical Engineering
and Mechanics,
Lehigh University,
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Contributed by Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received August 31, 2012; final manuscript received March 5, 2013; published online June 11, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Markus Eck.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(3), 034506 (Jun 11, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1210; doi: 10.1115/1.4024069 History: Received August 31, 2012; Revised March 05, 2013

One of the major challenges preventing the concentrated solar power (CSP) industry from occupying a greater portion of the world's energy portfolio are unattractive start up and operating costs for developers and investors. In order to overcome these reservations, plant designers must be able to achieve greater efficiencies of power production. Molten salt nitrates are ideal candidates for CSP heat transfer fluids and have been proposed to offer significant performance advantages over current silicone based oil heat transfer fluids. Ternary molten salt nitrates offer high operating temperatures while maintaining low freezing temperatures. However, a shortage of important thermophysical property data exists for these salts. Previous work has shown the ternary compositions of LiNO3–NaNO3–KNO3 salts offer the widest possible temperature range for use in a CSP system. The present work contains data for the viscosity, specific heat, and latent heat of some mixtures of these salts at various temperatures, providing vital information for plant designers to optimize power generation and attract future investment to CSP systems.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Viscosity of equimolar eutectic NaNO3–KNO3 and similar LiNO3–NaNO3–KNO3 mixtures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Specific heat of pure LiNO3, NaNO3, and KNO3 from 100  °C to 400  °C

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Specific heat of the ternary mixtures from 100  °C to 400  °C. Increasing LiNO3 resulted in increasing Cp values. Cp was found to be insensitive to temperature change in the molten state.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Latent heat values for many ternary mixtures. The binary equimolar NaNO3–KNO3 salt is represented by the black dots. Latent heat values increased with the addition of LiNO3.

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