Since 2005, the U.S. has decreased its overall carbon emissions by ~12% with a majority of those reductions coming from the electric power sector. However, this rate of decrease must be significantly accelerated to meet short-term national decarbonization commitments, and the pathway to reach ambitious net-zero global goals requires a transformation of the entire energy system. Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) uses sunlight to heat a transfer media which can be a liquid, solid, or gas to generate electric power or heat for industrial processes. Some of the largest CSP plants in the world have now exceeded 100MW in size and, when coupled with thermal energy storage, are now producing solar powered electricity 24 hours a day. However, on a production-only basis, such plants are not cost competitive with inexpensive PV panels. To drive cost reduction, research is underway to raise the heat-transfer media temperatures for CSP (today's state of the art molten salts operate at ~585oC) with the goal of improving the overall cycle efficiency. Additionally, various advanced manufacturing methods and materials are being considered to reduce cost or improve cycle performance. This talk will focus on some of the CSP manufacturing and materials research being conducted by EPRI to improve efficiency and lower costs for future CSP systems. This includes:
- Low-cost manufacturing methods such as welded tube and pipe for age-hardneable nickel-based alloys to enable higher temperature operation
- Understanding of oxidation and erosion behavior of materials for solid particle CSP plant components
- Testing the high-temperature performance of thin metallic sheets subjected to diffusion bonding to enable compact lower cost heat exchangers
John Shingledecker, Ph.D., FASM is a Senior Technical Executive in the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). As a recognized technical expert and industry thought leader in advanced manufacturing methods and materials for current and future power generation technologies he builds and leads internal and external collaborative teams to address materials performance challenges in harsh environments and conducts focused technology transfer with industry. Prior to his current role, Dr. Shingledecker led EPRI’s Cross Sector Technologies research area focused on chemistry, water, materials and NDE as well as leading EPRI’s Materials and Repair Program. He has published more than 200 papers, proceedings, and reports on the metallurgy and behavior of engineering alloys. His current research focuses on nickel-based structural alloys for gas turbines and concentrating solar power plants. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Materials (ASM), serves on the editorial committee for Advanced Materials & Processes and International Materials Review, holds an adjunct associate professor appointment at Michigan Technological University, is a former research staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is a winner of two best paper awards, has won EPRI’s Chauncey Staff award for research four times, and was recently awarded the 2021 Carl-von-Bach Medal from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.