China’s first 100MW molten salt solar thermal power plant has successfully hit its maximum power levels. The facility serves as a solar thermal power generation demonstration project.
£345m project uses 12,000 mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a receiver which is then used to heat the molten salt. It is capable of generating 390 million kW*h of clean power a year.
Unlike the intermittency associated with traditional solar energy systems, the molten salt allows energy to be stored and later used to generate power on demand.
Researchers suggest a new design of rechargeable battery created using salt could boost efficiency and reduce costs.