Third Generation CSP

Currently, CSP plants with molten salt storage operate up to temperatures of 565°C, which is limited by the physical properties of molten nitrate salts (2nd gen). Large-scale operation of CSP at higher temperatures (>700°C) remains a challenge to overcome (3rd gen).


With current solar receiver designs (external tubular or cavity gas, air volumetric, solid particle) temperatures above 700°C can be achieved. However, heat transfer media applicable at these temperatures (such as salts, solid particles or gases) must be tested. Cycle efficiency can be expected to increase above 50%, predominantly using the Brayton cycle (such as supercritical CO2) and including storage systems (phase change or thermochemical materials).


The potential of the 3rd CSP is promising, but open challenges need to be captured, studied and solved.

Potential in Chile

Imagen del Salar de Atacama, Norte de Chile
© Canva
Image of the Salar de Atacama, Northern Chile

Among the various CSP technologies, central tower plants are believed to be the most promising for commercial applications in the coming years. Together with the high concentration factor and high DNI, higher receiver temperatures and higher cycle efficiency can be achieved. Chile is therefore the perfect place to start testing 3rd generation CSP projects and take it to the next level.

One of the world's leading mining companies for industrial chemicals (such as solar salts) is located in northern Chile. This connection is also advantageous for testing new 3rd generation CSP technologies with applicable heat transfer media and storage options.


Simulations (computational) of high temperature solar plants with storage system.