World's first Molten Salt Solar Power Plant - This 8-Bit Life
So, Sicily has just announced that they will be bringing online the world’s first Concentrated Solar Power Plant that uses molten salt as a collection medium. The way this works is they aim an array of parabolic solar reflectors at a pipe containing a flowing mixture of 60 percent sodium nitrate and 40 percent potassium nitrate (also known as saltpeter). The benefits of this are many, it’s non-toxic, non-flammable and it is ideal for high-pressure. This super-heated salt then flows through a series of tanks and eventually is used to heat water which in turn spins up a steam turbine which produces electricity.
One of the greatest benefits of this method is that they are able to actually store the excess heat from this process for periods of time to say, produce more power during peak draw times, or produce to normal capacity during an overcast day. It’s large projects like this that really make me hopeful for our environmental future.
Here‘s a link to a wikipedia article explaining this all in much greater detail.
And Here‘s a link to a youtube video describing a similar design proposed for Arizona this year!