Project Name: Durable and Low-Cost Fractal Structured Multifunctional Coatings for Next Generation Concentrating Solar Power
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Team: Concentrating Solar Power
Location: Blacksburg, VA
SETO Award Amount: $399,991
Awardee Cost Share: $100,012
Planned Timeline: 2019-2021

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

Molten chloride salts are currently being investigated to transfer and store the heat generated by next-generation CSP plants, and at high temperatures, they have the potential to rapidly corrode their containers and pipes, typically made of expensive nickel-based alloys. To prevent corrosion in next-generation CSP plants, this project aims to develop fractal textured coatings that can be deposited on low-cost materials, such as stainless steel.


The project team is working to determine the materials that best fit the performance requirements of CSP plants. When testing materials for their suitability, the team will conduct detailed studies on their corrosion rates, thermal stability, durability, and fouling. After selecting the most appropriate materials, the team will use its novel, previously developed method for depositing materials on substrates using electrodeposition techniques, which allows them to create nano- and micro-scale texturing in the material being deposited.


Using its novel deposition method, the project team will apply a thin layer of corrosion-resistant material to CSP system components, reducing system corrosion from molten salts or supercritical carbon dioxide to acceptable levels for stainless steel and other inexpensive, readily available structural materials. The texturing will also enable easier system cleaning and reduce drag for pumped heat-transfer fluids. The team will work to ensure this method will help reach cost targets of next-generation CSP technology.