What We Do
We have developed and are commercialising world-leading modular CSP, with unique solar thermal storage technology, that can deliver low-cost renewable energy that is reliable, controllable and dispatchable.
Since 2009, Vast Solar has been scaling and refining its modular CSP technology and capabilities and now operates the world’s first multi-array sodium CSP plant. This 6MWth,1.1MWe grid-connected pilot plant is located in New South Wales, Australia, and was fully commissioned in June 2018.
Vast Solar technology is a thermal battery and unlike chemical batteries our technology is scalable not stackable.
Unlike central tower CSP plants, Vast Solar CSP is flexible and configurable.
- Scalable modular arrays eliminate turbine sizing limitations of central tower plants and plants can be configured from 50-500MW, with 4 – 16 hours of storage
- Multiple small towers and receivers mean that the receiver is no longer a single point of failure
- Receiver maintenance is simpler and does not require costly plant shutdown
Vast Solar technology will deliver economically viable, reliable power alternatives to traditional coal and gas-fired power plants.
Our innovative thermal capture and storage technology means that Vast Solar today holds the world’s most prospective thermal storage technology.
Our technology is unique and ‘ready to grow’, because:
- Utility-scale storage is a key enabler of continued decarbonisation and will become even more important as retirement of the aging coal fleets accelerates in coming years
- Vast Solar CSP can generate, store and dispatch affordable renewable energy – on demand, up to 24 hours a day
- Our thermal storage technology is world leading
- Sodium is an excellent heat transfer fluid
- Molten salt is an excellent storage medium, especially at the temperatures that sodium enables
- Our proprietary distributed control over receivers is ground breaking – it enables the capture of more energy, higher operating temperatures and overall greater power cycle efficiency
- Our system is modular, scalable and configurable
- Our system components are light weight, easy to manufacture, transport and install
- Low cost, rapid construction and ease of operation, enabled by light weight, fewer and inexpensive materials, prefabrication, robotic assembly and automated operation
- Our system is aesthetically pleasing and low impact on local communities and habitats
Smart, Modular CSP Technology
Vast Solar’s breakthrough is the modularisation of solar collector arrays. The key enabler of its modular array design is the use of liquid sodium as the solar heat transfer fluid and Vast Solar is the clear world leader in the use of sodium for solar power applications.
Concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) systems capture solar energy from the sun by using heliostats (mirrors) to reflect the sun’s energy to a tower. This energy is then stored, until needed, and used to generate steam that drives a turbine to generate electricity which is distributed to the grid.
Various CSP systems are have been developed and tested over the years. ‘Power Tower’ technology is the family of technologies that Vast Solar’s technology sits uniquely within.
Monolithic or single tower systems feature a single large single tower and receiver, fuelled by heliostats located progressively further away from the tower. Consequently, the efficiency of solar energy transfer from these heliostats can be relatively poor when compared to the high thermal and optical efficiencies that Vast Solar’s concentrated modular arrays enable.
Vast Solar’s patented, proprietary technology deliver higher performance and more cost effective energy solutions than CSP competitors and Vast Solar CSP plants will produce dispatchable renewable electricity at price points well below PV and wind with battery storage.
Elegant engineering solutions arrive, some say, ‘not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away’. They embody simplicity, consistency and elements of the unexpected to create simple and effective solutions.
Once you go beyond the power block (that loves those turbines and heavy engineering) and out into the field, every element of the Vast Solar CSP system has been smartly designed for ready manufacture at scale (high throughput manufacture).
We’re excited to be in the business of renewable energy and we’re proud that our CSP system treads lightly on the planet and in the environments of the communities where Vast Solar CSP plants are located.