Concentrated solar thermalProject CSP Pilot Plant
This report presents an overview of Vast Solar’s technical achievements and contributions to the CSP sector in the Australian and international context. The report also discusses the potential for CSP in Australia.
Overview – Key Achievements
Vast Solar’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency backed Pilot Plant at Jemalong, NSW, is the first modular CSP system and facility in the world that uses sodium as the heat transfer fluid (HTF). The operating pilot plant has generated performance data and practical operational experience that have contributed to Vast Solar’s IP portfolio that including patents, trade secrets and extensive know-how, including using sodium as the HTF.
Vast Solar has pioneered the use and management of sodium as a HTF. In recent years sodium has attracted renewed attention in CSP research circles in Europe, the United States and at some Australian research organisations that are members of the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative (ASTRI). This interest is attributable to sodium’s excellent thermal conductivity properties and the recognised need to harness new HTF’s that can deliver higher temperatures and greater reliability. The ‘return’ of interest follows discontinued experimentation with sodium as a HTF in Spain in the 1980s.