Project Name: High-Entropy Ceramic Coatings: Transformative New Materials for Environmentally Compatible Thin-Film Insulators against High-T Molten Salts
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Team: Concentrating Solar Power
Location: San Diego, CA
SETO Award Amount: $400,000
Awardee Cost Share: $100,000
Planned Timeline: 2019-2021

-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --

This project team is developing a new type of ceramic material that insulates against heat extremely well and is resistant to corrosion from molten salts. If successful, these materials will coat the pipes and storage tanks that transport and hold molten salts in order to reduce heat loss in concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) plants. If effective, this would increase CSP plants’ efficiency.


The project team will select and screen for high-entropy ceramics that insulate heat very well at high temperatures. High-entropy ceramic materials consist of four or more compound molecules in large proportions, as opposed to conventional materials which typically only have one major component. The team will test a range of material compositions to gauge how well they retain heat and resist salt corrosion, and optimize their composition for high performance and low cost. It will then develop and demonstrate scalable methods of coating thin layers of these materials on alloys used for piping and storage in CSP plants.  


An effective, low-cost protective coating like high-entropy ceramics could substantially reduce the need for expensive, high-temperature super-alloys in CSP systems. If successful, these new coatings will raise the efficiencies of CSP plants by reducing heat loss in the plant.