On July the 3rd 2013 Archimede Solar Energy (ASE) and
Chiyoda Corporation ground break the
most advanced concentrated solar power installation with thermal energy
storage. The plant represents the first stand alone Molten Salt Test Loop in
the world and is located close to the ASE manufacturing plant in Massa Martana
The test loop will provide a focus for research
oriented to the new frontiers of CSP.
Built with Italian components and Japanese engineering
the aim of the test loop is to be a showcase for the Molten Salt technology and
the Italian supply chain.
The partner companies include TECHINT, SQM, BFR
MECCANICA, AXEL, RDM, REFLEX, CEU, MECCANOTECNICA UMBRA.
The aim of the project led by ASE with the Engineering
of Chiyoda Corporation is to enhance the economy and reliability of
parabolic-trough power plants. This type of solar thermal plant concentrates
sunlight using parabolic mirrors on a row of receiver tubes containing a heat
Whereas today’s commercial parabolic-trough power
plants use thermo oils as heat transfer medium allowing continuous operation with
external molten salts tanks at a temperature lower than 400°C, the new
600-meter-long test loop, equipped with 5 hours Thermal Energy Storage (TES), is
to be operated using molten salts only, at temperatures above 550°C.
The steam at a higher temperature thus produced will
enable more efficient operation of the steam turbine for power generation and
the TES tanks using molten salts only can be significant smaller compared to
oil plus molten salts.
The potential offered by the salt is to be
investigated at the test facility equipped with receiver tubes made by
Archimede Solar Energy (ASE).
salts are already being used as the heat transfer medium at the Archimede ISCC
located in Priolo Gargallo, Sicily, a plant equipped also with receiver tubes
manufactured by ASE for Enel Power.