SETO FY2018 – Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power

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The Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 (SETO FY2018) funding program addresses the affordability, flexibility, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. This program funds early-stage research projects that advance both solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) technologies and supports efforts that prepare the solar workforce for the industry’s future needs.

On October 23, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would provide $53 million in funding for 53 projects in the SETO FY2018 funding program. Of those projects, 15 will focus on concentrating solar power research and development. Read the announcement.

Approach

Projects in the CSP research and development topic support progress toward achieving a 50% cost reduction by 2030 and will focus on advancing components found in CSP sub-systems, including collectors, power cycles, and thermal transport systems, while pursuing new methods for introducing innovation to CSP research.

Objectives

Projects in this funding program will strengthen the innovation ecosystem across the country and work toward achieving the office’s 2030 cost targets. Technical projects will work toward developing new technologies and solutions capable of lowering solar electricity costs for CSP.

Selectees

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

Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS): Concentrating Solar Power 

Lucent Optics, Inc.

Project Name: Flat Focusing Mirrors for Concentrating Solar Power
Location: Sacramento, CA
DOE Award Amount: $400,000
Cost Share: $100,000
Principal Investigator: Sergey Vasylyev

Sundog Solar Technology

Project Name: Development of a Front-Surface CSP Reflector Using Ultra-Barrier Technology    
Location: Arvada, CO
DOE Award Amount:  $321,000
Cost Share: $81,000        
Principal Investigator: Randy Gee

Dartmouth College

Project Name: Thermodynamically Stable, Plasmonic Transition Metal Oxide Nanoparticle Solar Selective Absorbers Towards 95% Optical-to-Thermal Conversion Efficiency at 750° Celsius
Location: Hanover, NH
DOE Award Amount: $400,000
Cost Share: $100,000     
Principal Investigator: Jifeng Liu

Purdue University 1

Project Name: Mitigation of Molten Salt Corrosion
Location: West Lafayette, IN
DOE Award Amount: $400,000
Cost Share: $100,000     
Principal Investigator: Kenneth Sandhage

Purdue University 2

Project Name: Mechanically, Thermally, and Chemically Robust High-Temperature Ceramic Composites
Location: West Lafayette, IN
DOE Award Amount: $400,000
Cost Share: $100,000     
Principal Investigator: Kenneth Sandhage

University of California, San Diego

Project Name: High-Entropy Ceramic Coatings: Transformative New Materials for Environmentally Compatible Thin-Film Insulators against High-Temperature Molten Salts 
Location: La Jolla, CA
DOE Award Amount: $400,000
Cost Share: $100,000     
Principal Investigator: Jian Luo

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 1

Project Name: Durable and Low-Cost Fractal Structured Multifunctional Coatings for Next Generation CSP          
Location: Blacksburg, VA
DOE Award Amount: $399,991
Cost Share: $100,102     
Principal Investigator: Ranga Pitchumani             

University of Utah

Project Name: Volumetrically Absorbing Thermal Insulator For Monolithic High-Temperature Microchannel Receiver Modules
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
DOE Award Amount: $400,000
Cost Share: $100,000     
Principal Investigator: Sameer Rao

University of Michigan 1

Project Name: Robust and Spectrally-Selective Aerogels for Solar Receivers       
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
DOE Award Amount: $260,000
Cost Share: $65,000        
Principal Investigator: Andrej Lenert     

Advanced CSP Collectors

SolarReserve, LLC

Project Name: HelioSR3 - Fully Autonomous Heliostat System for SolarReserve Exceeding Gen3 Targets
Location: Santa Monica, CA
DOE Award Amount: $2,000,000
Cost Share: $500,000     
Principal Investigator: David Haas

Advanced Power Cycles for CSP

University of California, Davis

Project Name: Additively-Manufactured Molten Salt-to-Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Heat Exchanger
Location: Davis, CA
DOE Award Amount: $2,219,315
Cost Share: $582,988     
Principal Investigator: Vinod Narayanan

CompRex, LLC

Project Name: 740H Diffusion Bonded Compact Heat Exchanger for High Temperature and Pressure Applications
Location: De Pere, WI
DOE Award Amount: $1,242,525
Cost Share: $317,174
Principal Investigator: Zhijun Jia

Advanced CSP Thermal Transport System and Components

Colorado School of Mines 1

Project Name: Narrow-Channel, Fluidized Beds for Effective Particle Thermal Energy Transport and Storage
Location: Golden, CO
DOE Award Amount: $1,858,170
Cost Share: $464,712
Principal Investigator: Gregory Jackson

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 2

Project Name: Fractal Nanostructured Solar Selective Surfaces For Next Generation Concentrating Solar Power
Location: Blacksburg, VA
DOE Award Amount: $903,045
Cost Share: $225,764     
Principal Investigator: Ranga Pitchumani

University of Arizona

Project Name: Sensing and Arresting Metal Corrosion in Molten Chloride Salts at 800° Celsius
Location: Tuscon, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $800,000
Cost Share: $200,000
Principal Investigator: Dominic Gervasio

Learn more about the SETO FY2018 funding program and the projects selected for the photovoltaics and workforce initiative topics.