Internal Insulation and Corrosion Control of Molten Chloride Thermal Energy Storage Tanks

Samuel Gage, Joshua Bailey, Donal Finegan, Dan Brett, Paul Shearing, Craig Turchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


A chloride-based molten-salt system that uses a ternary blend of MgCl2/KCl/NaCl is investigated to provide higher-temperature thermal energy storage capability than conventional nitrate salt-based systems. Despite their high thermal stability and operating temperature, molten chlorides present several challenges, including the design of internal liners to prevent the corrosion and thermal stress of alloy tank shells. This work discusses issues and potential solutions related to containment of molten chloride salt, specifically the optimization of the hot face refractory materials for use as internal liners. Three down-selected refractory materials were analyzed with respect to permeation of salt through the material as well as chemical stability during high temperature operation. Through the application of X-ray imaging and electron spectroscopy techniques, highly stable secondary surface phases in equilibrium with the molten salt were identified, as well as time-dependent changes in the salt composition itself.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 111048
Number of pages9
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-77330


  • Corrosion science
  • Gen3 CSP
  • Molten chloride salt
  • Refractory ceramics
  • Surface passivation
  • Thermal energy storage


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