Funding Program: SuNLaMP
SunShot Subprogram: CSP
Location: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
SunShot Award Amount: $2,175,000

This project seeks to develop a predictive lifetime model for materials in supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) conditions similar to concentrated solar power (CSP) applications. Experimental work will generate relevant corrosion, creep, and fatigue data to populate the model and then verify model predictions. The test campaign will mirror the thermal cycling expected in CSP applications. The combination of experiments aims to remove the many unknowns of how sCO2 and its containment material will function over the expected lifetime of a power plant.


The research team has identified test conditions and structural alloys relevant for high temperature CSP using sCO2 as either a heat transfer fluid or the power cycle working fluid. After receiving input from industrial stakeholders to aid in selecting the most practical materials to test, the alloys will be subjected to over 10,000 hours of testing. This thorough examination of the materials’ response is critical to de-risking sCO2 to a point that would entice potential investors in CSP.  Furthermore, the range of tests will help isolate the effects of thermal cycling and ultra-high pressure on corrosive response and mechanical properties.


This project will create published data on sCO2 corrosion effects at temperatures above 650°C. The chemical responses of many materials drastically change at these temperatures. This work aims to be a first-of-its-kind testing campaign to demonstrate whether alloys containing sCO2 can survive for the minimum 30-year lifetime expected of CSP plants.