SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: Gregory Wilk
TIME: Thursday, November 12, 2015, 1:00 p.m.
PLACE: MRDC Building, 135
TITLE: Economic and Experimental Evaluation of Molten Metal Concentrated Solar Power
COMMITTEE: Dr. Asegun Henry, Chair (ME)
Dr. Shannon Yee (ME)
Dr. Samuel Graham (ME)


Current concentrated solar power plants use molten salt at 565°C as a heat transfer and thermal energy storage fluid. These solar plants deliver dispatachable electricity to the grid; however, the LCOE is 12-15 c/kWh, about 2.5 times as high as fossil fuel electricity generation. This thesis evaluates using molten Sn as a heat transfer fluid and molten Al-Si as thermal energy storage medium, enabling a higher operating temperature of 1350°C. The thesis concludes that switching to molten metal can reduce CSP costs by 30% and graphite pipes, valves, and seals are possible at least at 400°C.