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.