Assessment of a Novel Ternary Eutectic Chloride Salt for Next Generation High-Temperature Sensible Heat Storage

Gowtham Mohan, Mahesh Venkataraman, Judith Gomez-Vidal, Joe Coventry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus Citations


A novel ternary eutectic salt mixture for high-temperature sensible heat storage, composed of sodium chloride, potassium chloride and magnesium chloride (NaKMg-Cl) was developed based on a phase diagram generated with FactSage®. The differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) technique was used to experimentally validate the predicted melting point of the ternary eutectic composition, which was measured as 387 °C, in good agreement with the prediction. The ternary eutectic was compared to two binary salts formulated based on prediction of the eutectic composition by FactSage, but unfortunately DSC measurements showed that neither binary salt composition was eutectic. Nonetheless, the measured thermo-physical properties of the ternary and the two binary mixtures are compared. Liquid heat capacities of both the ternary and binary salts were determined by using DSC with sapphire as the standard reference. The average heat capacity of the ternary mixture was recorded as 1.18 J g−1 K−1. The mass loss of the molten eutectic salts was studied up to 1000 °C using a thermogravimetric analyser in nitrogen, argon and air. The results showed a significant mass loss due to vaporisation in an open system, particularly above 700 °C. However, simulation of mass loss in a closed system with an inert cover gas indicates storage temperatures above 700 °C may be feasible, and highlights the importance of the design of the storage tank system. In terms of storage material cost, the NaKMg-Cl mixture is approximately 4.5 USD/kWh, which is 60% cheaper than current state-of-the-art nitrate salt mixtures.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)156-164
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-68948


  • Heat capacity
  • High-temperature
  • Mass loss
  • Melting point
  • Molten salt
  • Sensible heat storage


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of a Novel Ternary Eutectic Chloride Salt for Next Generation High-Temperature Sensible Heat Storage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this