National Solar Thermal Test Facility

The initially solar receivers ever before tested in the human being were tested at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF). The receivers were each rated as much as 5 megawatts thermal (MWt). Receivers with assorted working fluids have been tested here over the years, including air, water-steam, molten salt, liquid sodium, and solid pposts. The NSTTF has actually additionally been used for a huge range of other tests, consisting of products tests, simulation of thermal nuclear pulses and aerodynamic heating, and ablator experimentation for NASA.

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Construction of the NSTTF started in 1976. The decision to develop this facility was a result of the 1973 Oil Embargo implemented by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The Carter management sustained structure the facility to support research study right into concentrating solar power (CSP) modern technologies.

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Since completion of the original NSTTF, the DOE CSP regimen has actually supported development of the facility to include a solar heating system, solar troughs and also dishes, engine test facility (ETF), rotating platdevelop, and also the molten salt test loop (MSTL) over the years. All of these additional facilities carry out the NSTTF with capabilities that enable for the testing of miscellaneous components and also units that assistance breakthrough and also enhancements in concentrating solar power modern technology.

Current Capabilities

The infrastructure at the NSTTF include the following:

The 200-foot high solar tower has multiple flux panels for exact testimonial of reflector performance and solar flux.The heliostat field deserve to geneprice a optimal flux of as much as 350 W/cm2 and also 6 MWt complete power. The heliostat area has foundations, power, and communications accessible for trial and error of innovative practice heliostats using the NSTTF"s world-course heliostat testimonial and also metrology devices. These include beam characterization, heliostat canting and also alignment, long-range beam evaluation, wind modal analysis, and also tracking and also pointing analysis. The heliostat area can also be supplied for tracking celestial bodies various other than the sun, and for tracking various other objects such as satellites.The solar heating system deserve to administer a height flux of up to 500 W/cm2 and 16 kWt of power. The facility has been used for activities such as the screening of product samples and prototype receivers.The MSTL offers CSP plant–favor conditions (flow rate >600gpm, pressures up to 600psi, and also temperatures ranging from 300 to 585°C with a 1.4 MW cooling capacity) via flowing molten nitrate salt for the review of components and solar receiver units.The MSTL likewise serves as a corrosion test facility for heat move fluids.The dish-Stirling test field has various test bed dishes accessible for trial and error solar engines.The Optical Characterization Laboratory offers high-resolution slope error evaluation of concentrating optics as well as in-field alignment tools for dishes, canting devices for heliostats, and trough alignment.The ETF has two test bays, an assembly bay and a regulate room for developing and also testing dish engines before their mounting on a solar dish. The assembly structure provides a machine shop via welding, assembly, and experimentation capcapacity for large frameworks and test rigs.Planned Work

With funding gave by DOE under the National Laboratory R&D competitive funding chance, the NSTTF will preserve an operational facility that can be provided to conduct trial and error on the solar tower using the heliostat area as well as testing at the solar furnace.