The Amazing Role of High-Temperature Nickel Alloys and Stainless Steels for Concentrated Solar Power

Renewable energy will become an essential source of power generation since you can use it time after time. The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that the use of renewable energy sources will continue to grow at 2.3% every year between 2015 and 2040. In this scenario, the solar thermal power plants benefit from using nickel-based alloys or stainless steel containing nickel manufactured at sand casting foundries.

Control over Challenging Situations

The thermal solar plants use tools made of nickel-based alloy and stainless steel containing nickel. Using nickel-based products manufactured at the sand casting foundry, these energy plants have overcome the issues faced by thermal storage or energy transfer technology. Due to using nickel-based tools, handling the molten salt is no longer a challenge for the CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) plants.

Lowered Replacement Costs

A sand casting company manufactures different types of contraptions made of nickel alloy. The nickel-based contraptions may last for 40 years or longer. Therefore, the introduction of nickel-based products has lowered the replacement costs for the CSP plants.

How does Solar Tower Concentration Technique work?

  • On a 640 feet tower, concentrated sunlight is directed towards a receiver from the large field of heliostats.
  • Liquid salt is pumped from the cold salt tank and pushed through a receiver.
  • The salt is heated to 1050 °F inside the receiver.
  • A tank is used to store the heated salt, which is pumped through a steam generator.
  • The steam drives a turbine which generates electricity.
  • cold salt flows back to a cold-salt tank at 550 °F temperature
  • The condensed steam is re-circulated and reused

The nickel alloys, such as copper-nickel alloy and others, can remain stable at operating temperatures due to their resistance to creep (deformation resulting from exposure to higher stress levels over time) and oxidation. The nickel-based alloys (UNS N06617/N06625/N06230) produced by the sand casting services are used at the thermal solar plants or CSP plants due to these unique features.

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