Project Name: Thermophysical Property Measurements of Heat Transfer Media and Containment Materials
Funding Opportunity: Generation 3 Concentrating Solar Power Systems  
SETO Subprogram:
Concentrating Solar Power
Location: Atlanta, GA
SETO Award Amount: $1,966,441
Awardee Cost Share: $218,493
Principal Investigator: Shannon Yee

This project will research and analyze the thermophysical properties supporting the Gen3 integrated thermal system in response to Topic 2b of this funding program. The thermophysical properties this team will look at include thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and specific heat across materials of interest to Gen3 CSP systems and temperatures greater than 700° Celsius. The team will perform measurements on molten salt chemistries proposed by Topic 1 awardees, and containment materials, including the metallic, ceramic, and composite materials proposed by awardees in Topics 1 and 2a. This research will be shared to address the knowledge gap in Gen3 thermophysical properties. 


The team will qualify a new immersion technique that measures the thermophysical properties of heat transfer media at temperatures of 700°-1,200°C in corrosive environments. It will also test an advanced laser technique that uses infrared imaging to measure the thermophysical properties of containment materials at those temperatures. The researchers will study heat transfer media and containment materials under pristine conditions and when contaminated by water and oxygen. Then they will create a curated, public database and develop engineering models that can serve as reference points for the development of future CSP systems.


Accurate information about thermophysical properties relevant to CSP systems is not easily accessible, and measurement techniques are not commercially available. This project enables the development of a thermophysical property database, which will provide the underlying research and analysis support that will enable the advancement of high-temperature energy technologies. Ultimately, this work will inform the design and development of high-temperature, low-cost CSP systems.