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Tag Archives: National Solar Thermal Test Facility

Using the power of the sun to roast green chile

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Every August and September the unmistakable pungent aroma of roasting green chile permeates the air across New Mexico and neighboring states. This delectable staple of regional cuisine is green in color, but roasting the chile pepper to deepen the flavor and make the inedible skin easier to remove is hardly environmentally friendly. […]

Sandia creates global archive of historical renewable energy documents

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories began studying the power of the sun to produce utility-scale energy in the 1960s. Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility was commissioned in 1978, spurred by the oil crisis of 1973. Many of the documents detailing the design, construction and research conducted at the world’s first multimegawatt concentrating solar […]

Here comes the sun: Tethered-balloon tests ensure safety of new solar-power technology

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — What do tiny dust particles, 22-foot-wide red balloons and “concentrated” sunlight have in common? Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories recently used 22-foot-wide tethered balloons to collect samples of airborne dust particles to ensure the safety of an emerging solar-power technology. The study determined that the dust created by the new technology is […]

From concept to commercialization: 40 years of concentrating solar power research

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — From testing space shuttle tiles to making electricity from sunlight, the world’s first multimegawatt solar tower has contributed to energy research, space exploration, defense testing and solar energy commercialization since it was commissioned at Sandia National Laboratories in July 1978. The solar tower is a key component of a specific type of […]

Solar tower exposes materials to intense heat to test thermal response

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories is using its solar tower to help assess the impact of extreme temperature changes on materials. The tests, now in their second year, take advantage of the ability of Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility to simulate a very rapid increase in temperature followed by an equally rapid decrease. […]

New fractal-like concentrating solar power receivers are better at absorbing sunlight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories engineers have developed new fractal-like, concentrating solar power receivers for small- to medium-scale use that are up to 20 percent more effective at absorbing sunlight than current technology. The receivers were designed and studied as part of a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project and are also being applied […]

AREVA Solar building on Sandia’s molten salt expertise

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A soaring structure on the south side of the Department of Energy’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) combines two cutting-edge technologies in concentrating solar energy: Compact Linear Fresnel Reflectors and molten salt thermal storage. Using them together is a pioneering concept. Today’s Compact Linear Fresnel systems use water or oil as […]