Global
Solar Chemicals

Solar Chemicals 

Renewable resources, such as solar energy, are playing an increasingly important role in power supplies throughout the globe.

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Photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) plants are used to capture the sun’s energy. PV technology has become an integral part of the worldwide energy mix, and will only grow in importance as time goes on. The standards for this technology are very high. And BASF is helping to advance PV even further – with reliable, intelligent and innovative chemical solutions.

CSP technology, meanwhile, concentrates solar radiation to heat up a fluid, and uses this heat to generate electricity. This technology makes it easy to store thermal energy – enabling the production of energy even when the sun is not shining. BASF contributes to this technology through the production and supply of salts used for heat storage and heat transfer. Additionally, BASF offers consultancy services and engineering solutions tailored to multiple stages of plant development and operation.

BASF salts and services for concentrated solar power industry

Extensive experience and cutting-edge innovation: when you join forces with BASF, you get the best of both worlds. Not only are you are guaranteed exceptionally pure products for concentrated solar power (CSP) heat transfer and thermal energy storage processes. You can also tap into a wealth of expertise in the form of tailor-made consulting services, helping you maximize efficiency at your facility. Whether you are new to the market or an experienced player seeking an extra edge, BASF is the partner of choice.

Chemicals for PV

Highest quality along the entire solar cell value chain

As the world's leading chemical company, we cover the entire production process for solar cells and panels; from cutting the silicon ingots to metallization to frame fabrication. 

Chemicals and Services for CSP

More efficiency for concentrated solar power plants thanks to new BASF simulation tool.

BASF has developed a new software solution to help with challenges at CSP plants. The tool focuses on the stability of the storage medium (i.e. the molten salt), which includes the simulation of gas emissions, equipment corrosion and the estimation of the plant life span.

For more information please contact Rachel Mei Ping Chan: rachel-mei-ping.chan@basf.com

Unlock a weatlh of expertise: consulting services from BASF 

BASF has spent decades at the vanguard of research into salt for solar applications – and we want to share this expertise with our customers. Made-to-measure consulting services allow you to tap into our vast experience in salt technology. We also offer packages tailored to all stages of plant development or operation. So whether you are in the planning phase or already have a network of facilities online, you can leverage our insights to boost efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Technology development and pilot phase

By involving BASF in your CSP project from an early stage, you can benefit from tailored advice regarding all salt-related aspects of your technology – from achieving the optimal salt mix to recommendations on increasing salt and equipment lifespans.

Plant planning and construction

When planning and constructing your CSP plant, BASF consulting services can help you maximize efficiency and extend the useful life of your equipment – by identifying weaknesses in plant design that might lead to degradation or corrosion, for example, or by assessing safety risks.

Plant operation

For plants that are already up and running, BASF’s consulting offering for operators includes trouble-shooting services, system optimization related to salt stability and corrosion minimization, as well as salt and gas analytics to help prevent system failure while avoiding high repair costs. Plus, we can perform checks to investigate whether the salt mixture is still working as it should, providing operators with peace of mind.

 
 
 
 

Unparalleled purity, tried-and-trusted quality: synthetic sodium nitrate and nitrite

When you opt for synthetic sodium nitrate and nitrite from BASF, you are guaranteed best-in-class purity and reliability. Whether you operate a parabolic trough, linear Fresnel, or tower plant, our salts help you enhance efficiency and maximize the useful life of your equipment.

Your advantages at a glance

  • Excellent customer service 

  • Constant high BASF quality 

  • Outstanding delivery reliability

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Purity

Our synthetic sodium salts deliver unparalleled levels of purity and quality – with the low chloride content supporting safe long-term operation.

Efficiency

BASF sodium salts can boost plant efficiency by enabling operators to create mixtures that can be heated to 565 °C with minimum corrosion – and even higher temperatures are possible through careful control of salt chemistry

Reliability

BASF has over 90 years’ experience in the production of sodium nitrate and nitrite, and the exceptionally high quality of our salts has been proven in power plants around the world.

Expertise

As a pioneer in HTF, BASF conducts ongoing research into salt technologies, continuously aiming to reach new heights in efficiency and cost-effectiveness for heat transfer and thermal energy storage.

Solar thermal plants will play an important role in ensuring tomorrow’s carbon free energy mix. The plants consist of solar collectors and are mainly installed in deserts or sunny regions, usually covering a huge area of land. While bundling the solar power, solar thermal plants produce heat. Thereby, energy is gained which – for example – is used to power electricity-producing steam turbines.

To be able to use the energy gained in solar thermal plants no matter if the sun shines or not, heat storage media are required. A mixture of potassium and sodium nitrate offer a solution. They can be used within a temperature range of 280 to 380 degrees Celsius.

Latent heat storage systems use the salts’ transition from solid to liquid. Thus, large heat quantities can be stored efficiently. Hence, sodium nitrate significantly increases the outcome of solar thermal plants. 

License to improve your processes – leverage our technical expertise

By partnering with BASF, CSP plant operators have access to innovative technical concepts that address a wide range of challenges – from gas management to salt handling, and much more besides. BASF provides licenses for these concepts to enhance processes across the board,whether deployed in a solar power tower or in linear technologies like parabolic trough or Fresnel. Together with our comprehensive consulting offering, these services enable you to leverage our expertise for your plant’s success.

Customer success story 

Recirculation concept by BASF

BASF developed an innovative technical concept to enhance solar plant processes. This system uses the drainage tank of each solar field for mixing and recirculation, enabling continuous 24-hour operation of the field. And because less heat is required from the storage tanks to maintain field temperature, energy loss is also kept to a minimum.

Smarter processes – lower costs

For the owner of this plant, BASF’s intelligent recirculation concept would enhance efficiency – and would ultimately lead to a significant reduction in the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). This table highlights the earnings that can by realized by applying our concept.

 

Av. price

(0,137 €/kWh)

Peak price

(0,243 €/kWh)

Add. earings per year740k€   1.300 k€
Pay-off period 20 month 11 month
Cum. add. earnings in 20 years 15 Mio € 26 Mio €
LCOE reduction  1,8 %

Table: This table shows the additional earnings potential for the owner of a 100 MW linear fresnel plant in South Africa using HITEC® as a heat transfer fluid and storage medium. The figures are the result of a simulation study carried out by enolcon GmbH* on behalf of BASF. Based on tariffs offered for the Redstone project (0.15 US$/kWh = 0.13 €/kWh)[1], awarded under round 3.5 of South Africa’s REIPPP program, a further tariff reduction for round 5 projects was anticipated and used as a basis for the calculation: 0.09 €/kWh base price, 0.243 €/kWh peak price -> 0.137 €/kWh av. price.

* enolcon GmbH, Pleidelsheimer Str. 47A, 74321 Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany;www.enolcon.com