An evaluation was carried out to investigate the feasibility of utilizing a molten salt as the heat transfer fluid (HTF) and for thermal storage in a parabolic trough solar field to improve system performance and to reduce the levelized electricity cost. The operating SEGS (Solar Electric Generating Systems located in Mojave Desert, California) plants currently use a high temperature synthetic oil consisting of a eutectic mixture of biphenyl/diphenyl oxide. The scope of this investigation included examination of known critical issues, postulating solutions or possible approaches where potential problems exist, and the quantification of performance and electricity cost using preliminary cost inputs. The two leading candidates were the so-called solar salt (a binary salt consisting of 60% and 40% and a salt sold commercially as HitecXL (a ternary salt consisting of 48% 7% and 45% Assuming a two-tank storage system and a maximum operation temperature of the evaluation showed that the levelized electricity cost can be reduced by 14.2% compared to a state-of-the-art parabolic trough plant such as the SEGS plants. If higher temperatures are possible, the improvement may be as high as 17.6%. Thermocline salt storage systems offer even greater benefits.
Assessment of a Molten Salt Heat Transfer Fluid in a Parabolic Trough Solar Field
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the ASME Solar Energy Division, April 2002; final revision, Jan. 2003. Associate Editor: R. Pitz-Paal.
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Kearney, D., Herrmann , U., Nava, P., Kelly, B., Mahoney , R., Pacheco, J., Cable, R., Potrovitza, N., Blake , D., and Price, H. (May 8, 2003). "Assessment of a Molten Salt Heat Transfer Fluid in a Parabolic Trough Solar Field ." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. May 2003; 125(2): 170–176. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1565087
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