An Australian energy startup says it has found a solution to the problem that has dogged some thermal solar technology projects, removing instability in the process of storing the generated electricity.
According to Bloomberg news, Vast Solar’s technology differs from rivals because it uses liquid sodium as a heat transfer agent, improving control of the sunlight bouncing off specialized mirrors, according to Chief Executive Officer Craig Wood. The mirrors focus the light on liquid sodium receivers placed on the top of a tower, with the sodium then used to transfer heat to molten salt storage tanks. Other projects typically also use molten salt as the transfer agent.
Thermal solar technology’s attraction lies in firming up solar generation — utilizing thermal storage to keep the power flowing when the sun isn’t shining. However, operational issues have cast doubt on its reliability.
Vast Solar’s use of liquid sodium allows it to move away from the central tower design used at most existing solar thermal plants, instead using multiple receiving towers which Wood says can unlock efficiencies and reduce the risk of system outages.
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Date: Apr 22, 2019 @ 09:20
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