Solar Thermal Energy Storage at Sandia National Labs

The theme for this week is: “What do you do when the sun isn’t shining?”Through the generosity of the Lilly Endowment, I am on my way to Albuquerque, New Mexico to study solar thermal energy storage at Sandia National Labs.  I will be working with Nate Siegel researching how solar energy can be stored for extended periods and then used as needed to generate electricity.  The main idea is that we can use solar mirrors to melt mixtures of salts.  These molten salts can then be pumped into huge thermally insulated storage tanks.  On demand, the heat stored in the molten salt mixtures can be pumped into steam based generators to produce electricity.

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