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Title: Corrosion of alloys in a chloride molten salt (NaCl-LiCl) for solar thermal technologies

Next-generation solar power conversion systems in concentrating solar power (CSP) applications require high-temperature advanced fluids in the range of 600-800 degrees C. Current commercial CSP plants use molten nitrate salt mixtures as the heat transfer fluid and the thermal energy storage (TES) media while operating with multiple hours of energy capacity and at temperatures lower than 565 degrees C. At higher temperatures, the nitrates cannot be used because they decompose. Molten chloride salts are candidates for CSP applications because of their high decomposition temperatures and good thermal properties; but they can be corrosive to common alloys used in vessels, heat exchangers, and piping at these elevated temperatures. In this article, we present the results of the corrosion evaluations of several alloys in eutectic 34.42 wt% NaCl - 65.58 wt% LiCl at 650-700 degrees C in nitrogen atmosphere. Electrochemical evaluations were performed using open-circuit potential followed by a potentiodynamic polarization sweep. Corrosion rates were determined using Tafel slopes and Faraday's law. A temperature increase of as little as 50 degrees C more than doubled the corrosion rate of AISI stainless steel 310 and Incoloy 800H compared to the initial 650 degrees C test. These alloys exhibited localized corrosion. Inconel 625 wasmore » the most corrosion-resistant alloy with a corrosion rate of 2.80+/-0.38 mm/year. For TES applications, corrosion rates with magnitudes of a few millimeters per year are not acceptable because of economic considerations. Additionally, localized corrosion (intergranular or pitting) can be catastrophic. Thus, corrosion-mitigation approaches are required for advanced CSP plants to be commercially viable.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0927-0248
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells; Journal Volume: 157; Related Information: Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION concentrating solar power; heat transfer fluid; thermal energy storage; molten salts; corrosion; chlorides