A new hot-salt pump has been developed for molten-salt solar power tower applications that will reduce the capital cost of the plant, eliminate many of the piping, valve and sump problems associated with the handling of molten salt, and improve the reliability of a critical part of the operating system of the plant. Previous systems required that the pumps in these plants be housed in shallow sumps that were gravity fed by the storage tanks. This new pump arrangement will eliminate the sump level-control valves and the potential for overflowing the pump sump vessels. Until now, only cantilever pumps were qualified for hot molten-salt service because no suitable bearing materials had been tested. This paper describes the successful qualification of a long-shafted pump with salt-lubricated bearings tested for over 5000 hours with nitrate salt at 565°C.

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