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Molten Salt for Thermal Energy Storage

Molten Salt for Thermal Energy Storage

A container of molten salts can be heated from solar energy and then the heat can be used to drive turbines to generate electricity. This makes it practical to supply electric energy at night from solar energy collected during daytime.

A Tower of Molten Salt Will Deliver Solar Power After Sunset – [spectrum.ieee.org]

For the first time, solar thermal can compete with natural gas during nighttime peak demand

Solar power projects intended to turn solar heat into steam to generate electricity have struggled to compete amid tumbling prices for solar energy from solid-state photovoltaic (PV) panels. But the first commercial-scale implementation of an innovative solar thermal design could turn the tide. Engineered from the ground up to store some of its solar energy, the 110-megawatt plant is nearing completion in the Crescent Dunes near Tonopah, Nev. It aims to simultaneously produce the cheapest solar thermal power and to dispatch that power for up to 10 hours after the setting sun has idled photovoltaics.

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