Project Name: Enabling High-Temperature Molten Salt CSP through the Facility to Alleviate Salt Technology Risks (FASTR)
Funding Opportunity: Generation 3 Concentrating Solar Power Systems Lab Call
SETO Subprogram: Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power
Location: Oak Ridge, TN
SETO Award Amount: $5,000,000
Awardee Cost Share: N/A
This project team will design, construct, and operate the Facility to Alleviate Salt Technology Risks (FASTR). FASTR will be a test facility that will collect thermophysical data on flowing molten salt in a pumped loop—mimicking, at a small scale, Generation 3 concentrating solar power (Gen3 CSP) systems—which CSP plant designers and operators can use to refine their designs. FASTR will operate at temperatures higher than 700° Celsius so it can test various components to see how new technologies will perform in the real world.
FASTR will be built around a loop with both heated and cooled sections. Salt will be melted, purified, and then pumped around the loop. Sections of the loop will be able to be swapped out so that components can be tested. FASTR will contain a system that prepares and supplies large batches of clean salt to be used in the loop. The team will also develop and test innovative sensors that let operators monitor the chemical properties of the salt and the health of major system components, including heat exchangers and pumps.
FASTR will be the largest high-temperature molten chloride test loop in the world. By testing molten chloride technology at temperatures higher than current commercial molten salt systems use, FASTR will demonstrate the viability of molten chlorides for power generation. Molten chloride heat transfer fluids will enable CSP to reach high-temperature Gen3 conditions, to generate electricity more efficiently and cost-effectively.