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Submission + - World’s First Molten Salt Solar Plant Opens (inhabitat.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Sicily has just announced the opening of the world’s first concentrated solar power (CSP) facility that uses molten salt as a heat collection medium. Since molten salt is able to reach very high temperatures (over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit) and can hold more heat than the synthetic oil used in other CSP plants, the plant is able to continue to produce electricity long after the sun has gone down. The Archimede plant has a capacity of 5 megawatts with a field of 30,000 square meters of mirrors and more than 3 miles of heat collecting piping for the molten salt. The cost for this initial plant was around 60 million Euros.
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World’s First Molten Salt Solar Plant Opens

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  • Molten salt will seize up if it is allowed to cool, and it would be a catastrophic failure if the salt cools below the melting point. Obviously they can keep the salt hot enough through the night, but at what point do they have to start artificially heating the salt? Could a couple of cloudy days in a row doom the entire plant?

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.