Case 13728

Concentrating Solar Power Receiver, Storage Tank, and the Salt Bath with Nanoparticles


Energy storage, Solar power tower, Ternary eutectic salt, Nanoparticles, Salt bath, Fluoride and Chloride


New generation of solar power towers

  • Significant thermal energy loss of conventional solar boilers
  • High capital costs in building heavy solar boilers


The system is designed to absorb solar radiation through a volume of a molten ternary eutectic salt. Light from the collecting mirrors is reflected to an insulated salt-filled tank on or under the ground. The focused light strikes a transparent fluoride or chloride salt bath containing nanoparticles. Fluoride and chloride can operate at temperatures significantly above 10000C. Most of the light enters the molten salt and is absorbed by nanoparticles within the salt. The use of nanoparticles allows controlled bulk heat absorption rather than heat absorption on a heat transfer surface. The salt bath both collects and stores the energy. The system efficiently absorbs solar radiation through the volume of molten salt and retains the energy for gradual release into a heat exchange system. The typical operating temperature of the device is 8000C to 10000C. The device can be combined with solar collection apparatus and heat exchanging mechanisms.

  • Increase of 30-40% in efficiency over current technologies
  • Low capital costs

  • Professor Alexander H. Slocum (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Professor Jacopo Buongiorno (Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT)
  • Dr. Charles W. Forsberg (Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT)
  • Adam T. Paxson (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Reid C. Van Lehn (Department of Material Science and Engineering, MIT)
  • Amanda C. Scampini (Department of Material Science and Engineering, MIT)
  • Samuel J. Evans (Department of Material Science and Engineering, MIT)
  • Arthur H. Reading (Department of Material Science and Engineering, MIT)
  • Yin Lin Xie (Department of Material Science and Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:




Related Cases:

13251: Solar Power Tower with Direct Absorption of Solar Radiation in a Salt Bath with Nanoparticles

13283: Device for Tactile Sensing and Surface Metrology

14322: CSPonD: Concentrated Solar Power on Demand

14620: Site Selection for Hillside Central Receiver Solar Thermal Plants

Last revised: March 1, 2012

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