Industrial Chemicals

Thermo-Solar Salts

Thermo-Solar Salts

The solar thermal salts are composed of Sodium Nitrate and Potassium Nitrate, and these solar salts are the natural solution for thermal storage and heat transfer in the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Plant .

Most renewable energy technologies such as wind and PV suffer from a discontinuous energy supply and an unpredictable output due to altering weather conditions and/or energy demands.

Concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, equipped with a Molten Salts Storage System, store excess heat and stay operational also during evening hours and cloudy days, which signicantly increases their electricity output. The generated electricity from thermal storage is completely dispatchable: its power can be connected to the electrical grid at any time.

SQM has a unique business proposal for the solar thermal power business community. SQM’s solar salts are a clean, natural-source solution.

Annually, SQM produces around 1.5 million MT of sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate from Caliche Ore and Solar Brines, two natural resources found in northern Chile.

Contact: solar_salts@sqm.com

Digital infographic of the operation of the first solar thermal plant in Chile

Research and infographics: Juan Pablo Bravo | Illustration: Roberto Ortega | 3D illustration: René Olivares | El Mercurio newspaper

Links of interest :

www.nrel.gov/csp/

www.solarpaces.org

www.estelasolar.eu

helioscsp.com

http://www.irena.org/costs/Charts/CSP

 

SQM’s solar salts are a clean, natural-source solution. Annually, SQM produces around 1.5 million MT of sodium and potassium nitrate from Caliche Ore and Solar Brines, two natural resources found in northern Chile. Caliche is mined from surface deposits in the Atacama Desert; derived products include sodium nitrate and iodine. The salar brines are pumped from the underground in the Salar de Atacama (Atacama Salt Flat) after which they are transferred to large solar evaporation ponds to physically separate the desired elements. Main derived products are: lithium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, boric acid and potassium sulphate.

Nitrates are produced after the caliche mineral is crushed and exposed to a leaching process with water. Sodium nitrate is obtained from this leached solution by crystallization. Part of the obtained sodium nitrate goes through another stage of processing during which potassium chloride from the Salar de Atacama is added.

The mixture is then subject to other processes such as crystallization, refining and drying to yield potassium nitrate.

SQM International N.V., Worldwide Thermo-Solar Salts Business Line,
Houtdok-Noordkaai 25a

2030 Antwerpen
Belgium
Tel: +32 (3) 203 97 00 / solar_salts@sqm.com

 

100% natural nitrate salts.
Practically maintenance-free.
High specific heat.
High chemical stability [more than 580 °C (1,076 °F)].
Non-flammable.
Non-toxic.
Produced with lower CO2 emissions and much less environmental impact than synthetically produced salts.

Exploring La Africana Concentrating Solar Plant (virtual reality video)

Step inside one of Southern Spain’s CSP plants, La Africana, for a private guided tour providing a bird’s eye view of 253 hectares of CSP technology.