Symyx Technologies (SMMX) Gets DOE Solar Thermal Energy Grant

Symyx Technologies (SMMX) has been awarded a grant by the US Dept of Energy to conduct research and develop advanced heat transfer fluids for use in solar thermal power generation in order to lower the cost of solar thermal energy electricity. 

Current solar thermal power facilities provide energy by capturing radiation from the sun with reflective mirrors which then heats oil based fluids in pipes which in turn produces steam to power electricity turbines.  Current fluids have a max temp threshold of 400 degrees, which allows for the production of electricity at 15 cents/KWhr.  The DOE wants to develop a fluid than can withstand heat up to 500 degrees Celsius which could cut the cost of solar thermal electricity in half and make it more competitive with gas and coal electricity generation.

While the DOE selected more than a dozen organizations and academic institutions to develop improved methods for thermal energy storage,Symyx was the only company chosen to research advanced heat transfer fluids.

“Being recognized with this award validates our ability to utilize microscale, parallel experimentation and scientific informatics to increase the potential for breakthrough discoveries in this critical area of energy research,” said Richard Boehner, president, High Productivity Research (HPR) at Symyx. “We’re excited to extend our high-throughput experimentation capabilities beyond our environmentally-friendly fuels development with leading automotiv eand energy companies and into solar thermal energy for green technology power generation.”

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