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New Funding Awarded for Solar Thermal R&D

The Department of Energy has announced the winners of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for Solar Thermal resarch and development.  Solar Thermal technology is receiving  59% or approximately $10.1 million dollars of the $17 million of project funding announced on October 8th.  

The solar thermal projects receiving funding are:

Dual Purpose Advanced HTF with Enhanced Thermal Properties and Thermal Energy Storage Capabilities
This project will develop engineered nanoparticles and incorporate them into heat transfer fluids for improved thermal storage for CSP systems. ($1,000,000) – Argonne National Laboratory

Hybrid Organic Silicone Heat Transfer Fluids Utilizing Endothermic Chemical Reactions for Latent Heat Storage
This project will develop silicone-based heat transfer fluids for CSP systems. These fluids are expected to have improved thermodynamic efficiencies compared to conventional fluids and be stable at temperatures approaching 600°C. If successful, a 20%-33% cost reduction could be realized. ($966,957) – Los Alamos National Laboratory

Nanomaterials for Thermal Energy Storage in Concentrating Solar Power Plants
The goal of this project is to develop new nanomaterials and encapsulation strategies that could lead to a two to four fold improvement in the thermal energy storage density for CSP systems. These nanostructures are expected to be cost-competitive and show improved performance over conventional phase change systems. ($1,000,000) – National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Advanced Thermal Energy Storage and Solar-Field Test and Evaluation Facilities
This project will enhance and expedite manufacturing, testing, and evaluation of advanced CSP technologies by upgrading and adding equipment and facilities used to characterize new optical reflector and absorber materials, heat transfer fluids, storage fluids, and storage materials, as well as storage and collector systems and subsystems. These testing capabilities will support the U.S. solar industry in making CSP technologies cost-competitive for intermediate- and base-load power generation. ($4,398,218) – National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Evaluation of Polyaromatic Naphthalene Derivatives as Solar HTF
This project will develop polyaromatic hydrocarbons as heat transfer fluids for improved thermodynamic efficiency in CSP systems. These fluids are expected to be stable to temperatures approaching 600°C, have good thermal characteristics, and be readily available. ($935,000) – Oakridge National Laboratory

Thermochemical Energy Storage for Stirling Concentrating Solar Power
This project will develop thermochemical energy storage for dish-based CSP systems.  If successful, this could double the number of hours these systems can generate electricity and result in a 20% reduction in the cost of solar-generated electricity, making them competitive for intermediate-load power generation. ($747,974) – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Thermally-stable Ionic Liquid Carriers for Nanoparticle-based Advanced Heat Transfer CSP
This project will enhance the heat transfer and solar thermal energy collection of CSP systems by dispersing small volume percentages of nanoparticles into the ionic liquid carriers. If successful, this could result in a 10%-40% improvement in thermal conductivity. ($1,005,000)- Savannah River National Laboratory

New Funding Awarded for Solar Thermal R&D Tags: CHU, concentrated solar, DOE, US

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