Lowering the Costs of Concentrating Solar Power


Charlie Gay:
It’s important for Sunshot to focus on storage because that’s the long term lever that we
have available to expanding adoption of solar. Concentrating solar essentially uses fields
of mirrors and focuses the light onto one spot… heating up a fluid that can then run
a turbine. That fluid can then be stored and dispatched
when the electricity is needed. Sandia’s work with the falling particle receiver
will lead to lower costs because now we have another pathway by which we can get to higher
temperatures. Higher temperatures mean higher efficiency. Higher efficiency means lower cost. Cliff Ho:
The value of concentrating solar power is that it generates heat first and foremost. And that heat can be very cheaply and efficiently
stored for use later on to produce electricity. With conventional CSP technologies using molten
salt, we can provide 24/7 electricity production. Right now the big barrier is cost. To get to even higher efficiencies, we have
developed new heat transfer and storage media. These are ceramic particles, used in oil and
gas for hydraulic fracturing. And so when you drop them through a beam of
concentrated sunlight, the heat very efficiently. We’ve tested this at our prototype falling
particle receiver at Sandia. We’ve gotten to peak temperatures over 900
degrees Celsius. So these particles enable the higher temperatures,
which can reduce costs of direct storage as well as enable the higher efficiency power
cycles. Being able to see the opportunity and the
potential for these higher temperature CSP systems has been really exciting. Charlie Gay:
The work that we fund is high-risk research. Helping experimentally test whether those
ideas really work, helps create the foundation-the building block-for industry to scale technology.

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12 thoughts on “Lowering the Costs of Concentrating Solar Power”

  1. American Public Power Association says:


  2. John Smith says:

  3. exitar33 says:

    I wonder how well the ceramic particles Mr. Ho and his associates have tested can store thermal energy that's not directly from sunlight.

  4. Digital Hydraulics - AEMETEC Co., Ltd. says:

    The Digital Hydraulic Control System for Heliostat of Tower Type Solar Thermal Power Generation

  5. Vadym Volodko says:

    very accurate plans for something like that I found on Avasva

  6. empbac says:

    I'm going to miss Obama's Energy Dept.

  7. Kobi Morton says:

    I thought parabolic solar condensers were better because birds aren't going to fly into it

  8. Truth Exposed says:

    Photo evidence proves ISRAEL AND US GOVERNMENT DID 9/11

  9. METO U says:

    This is complete bull… higher temps means higher pressures because when you increase the temp of something you also increase the pressure of something which means more resistance to motion because the charged particles…that are tiny magnets…run into each other more which creates more heat because of friction… because you are forcing the particles closer together…solar panels work better when cooler… it's an extremely stupid decision to change the sun's potential energy into kenetic energy to do work that is not needed… you are intentionally decreasing the output kenetic energy because you are doing work with it because in order to do work takes energy…it makes it less efficient…here is an example…a furnace blower motor is being restricted because of a frozen AC evaporator coil and is not letting much air by it cause it is a block of ice… you check the amp draw on the blower motor with the doors on so you get a true reading and you get 5amps… normally it should be 10amps…only half of the air that normally can be moved is being moved…this is less work because you are throwing less air…but you are still giving the motor the same amount of current because the circuit is what determines how much current is sent to the capacitor… A capacitor builds up charge before it sends it to the motor… So you are still sending the same amount of current to the blower motor at all times… Your amp reading is less because you are only reading the amount of current that is doing work… The rest of the current is being turned directly into heat… the capacitor does not care if the motor is being restricted or if the motor is pushing more air… So you lose efficiency because you're giving the motor too much energy to run it at the restricted speed.. so restrictions mean wasted energy.. if you look at the back of the solar panels in this video you will see a lot of copper on the back. Now look at solar panels for houses and you'll see that there is much less copper on residential solar panels…. That is how this thing makes more energy… Heating up a fluid is just wasting energy because you do not need to do that because you have solar panels that turns the sun's light directly to electricity…it's pretty stupid to have solar panels and use the electricity to turn a turbine to generate electricity

  10. PierreB says:

    Why not stick to cheap low tech pv? It does the job low cost on your own roof.

  11. Yrpat says:

    if the bird decide to stand in the middle,what happen?

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