What Sets Us Apart
New Generation Modular CSP with Smart Thermal Storage and Sodium HTF
Vast Solar is an Australian company that has developed and demonstrated world-leading solar thermal storage technology at our CSP Pilot Site in central NSW. Our story is an Australian innovation story and our future is international.
The market for renewable power technologies has exploded over the last ten years and this has injected high levels of intermittent generation – wind and photovoltaic – into power networks but the penetration of ‘bulk’ wind and PV is rapidly hitting limits.
Utility-scale storage is a key enabler of continued decarbonisation and will become even more important as the retirement of aging coal fleets accelerates in coming years. Concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) will provide this critical storage, alongside large-scale chemical batteries for short-duration supply and pumped hydro in limited geographies.
Vast Solar’s unique modular solar array delivers significant optical and thermal efficiencies, greater than those of central tower CSP receivers, and our system of distributed control over receivers generate performance benefits to capture more energy and deliver greater overall power cycle efficiency.
These and other features set us apart at a time when there are significant business opportunities for CSP and thermal storage.
In the marketplace, benefits of Vast Solar’s world-leading CSP technology include:-
- Low cost modular array
- Light weight => fewer and inexpensive materials and easier to construct
- Cheaper manufacturing through prefabrication, auto industry techniques and robotic assembly
- High efficiency
- Heliostat configuration maximises optical efficiency, particularly in dusty environments
- Distributed control over receivers enables capture of more energy and higher operating temperatures => greater power cycle efficiency
- Lower risk
- Better controllability and management of solar transients lowers operational and downtime risk
- Multiple small towers => significant improvements in safety, construction, operation and risk since the receiver is no longer a single point of failure
- Receiver is always on => no daily pre-warming or risky start-up cycle
- Simplified design delivers shorter construction time saving vs. central tower technology
- 18-24 months to build a Vast Solar plant
- Modularity enables staged construction and commissioning
- Lower operating costs
- Fully automated process is significantly easier to operate
- Receiver maintenance simpler and does not require plant shutdown
- Scalable modular arrays eliminate turbine sizing limitation of central tower plants => plants can be configured from 50-500MW
- Capacity factor determined by choice of storage duration of 4-16 hours
- Modular arrays allow siting flexibility (the site doesn’t need to be perfectly flat) and reduce approval complexity (lower environmental impact)
Strategically, Vast Solar CSP technology has the power to:
- Enable further decarbonisation of the power sector
- Deliver utility scale thermal battery capacity – that is affordable, scalable and environmentally benign
- Deliver self-firming renewable energy generation and storage
- Provide support and stability to power networks in transition
- Deliver power network and systems support to address intermittency challenges associated with ‘bulk’ amounts of intermittent generation, PV and wind.
“We have the technology to make a huge difference at a time when the energy sector is going through enormous change”.
Vast Solar CSP technology adds value to energy systems in transition in more ways than one.
- Helps maintain the value and performance of established power networks
- When located at end of grid, CSP plants can provide valuable grid augmentation and defer or offset requirements for further grid investment
- Offer energy investors and operators an important avenue to improve grid stability and to build the resilience of their power generation, transmission and distribution systems
- Provide power and ancillary services to materially enhance grid stability
Good for Communities, Households, Business and Industry
- Vast Solar’s CSP technology enables renewable energy to be generated and distributed 24 hours a day so that households, business and industry can access renewable energy at peak periods or when the sun has gone down or the wind doesn’t blow.
- Our CSP plants are well suited for remote and rural locations and their construction and operation provide sustainable employment and economic growth in regional areas.
We’re proud to be growing the role that CSP and thermal storage will play to decarbonise the electrical sector and excited our technology can add value to network operators and renewable energy generators so that together, we can speed the transition to sustainable electrification and power supply.