Journal of Materials for Energy Systems

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 60–70 | Cite as

Materials-related design issues in the Solar Central Receiver pilot plant

  • Jack C. Swearengen
  • Steven L. Robinson


The Solar Thermal Central Receiver program of the Department of Energy has for its objectives the harnessing of solar thermal energy for generation of electricity, (either monolithic or in combination with fossil power)and also the development of solar process heat for various applications. The aim is to develop solar thermal systems to the status of alternative energy sources for utilities by the mid 1980s, and to achieve economic competetiveness with fossil and nuclear plants by the 1990s1. The first electricity to be generated in the program will come from the ten MW pilot plant which is nearing the start of construction in Barstow, California. Funding for the project is being provided by the Department of Energy, Southern California Edison Company, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and the California Energy Commission. The Barstow pilot plant represents the first full scale U.S. application of solar central receiver technology and as such is a critical gate in the development program. The design is being developed by an industrial team lead by McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company. Sandia Laboratories provides technical program management and supporting research and development for the Department of Energy in central receiver technology. The final design for Barstow will be based upon tradeoff studies and experiments conducted in support of the program. This paper summarizes these studies in the area of materials-related issues and describes the emerging technology.


Pilot Plant Diurnal Cycling Float Glass Central Receiver Solar Thermal Energy 
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Copyright information

© American Society for Metals 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack C. Swearengen
    • 1
  • Steven L. Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Sandia National LaboratoriesLivermore

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