CSP Library

Final Test and Evaluation Results from the Solar Two Project

Publishing date: January 2002

Solar Two was a collaborative, cost-shared project between 11 U. S. industry and utility partners and the U. S. Department of Energy to validate molten-salt power tower technology. The Solar Two plant, located east of Barstow, CA, comprised 1926 heliostats, a receiver, a thermal storage system, a steam generation system, and steam-turbine power block. Molten nitrate salt was used as the heat transfer fluid and storage media. The steam generator powered a 10-MWe (megawatt electric), conventional Rankine cycle turbine. Solar Two operated from June 1996 to April 1999. The major objective of the test and evaluation phase of the project was to validate the technical characteristics of a molten salt power tower. This report describes the significant results from the test and evaluation activities, the operating experience of each major system, and overall plant performance. Tests were conducted to measure the power output (MW) of the each major system, the efficiencies of the heliostat, receiver, thermal storage, and electric power generation systems and the daily energy collected, daily thermal-to-electric conversion, and daily parasitic energy consumption. Also included are detailed test and evaluation reports.

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