Ashalim Plot A 121 MW thermo-solar power plant has started the melting process of 45,000 tons of salt in the thermal energy storage system.
The molten salt – a mixture of sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate – will be used as a flexible, efficient and cost-effective form of large-scale energy storage system. The salt is charged by heating up to a temperature of ~383⁰C and when required, may produce electricity, undependable of sun availability. The storage system will enable 4.5 hours of stable and dispatchable power supply daily, without any backup fossil fuel. Once the electricity production is required, the heat is transferred from the salt through heat exchangers to create steam which powers a conventional steam turbine generator that produces electricity.
The storage system enables the solar thermal power plant to operate just like a conventional fossil fuel power plant: reliably generating electricity when it’s needed the most – but without associated harmful emissions and fuel costs. It also provides the ability to shift electricity generation to meet various consumption profiles and deliver firm and reliable power at high production capacity.