Vast Solar built Australia’s first 6MWh (1.1MWe) concentrated solar thermal plant with thermal energy storage, to be connected to the power grid. The $10 million project is half funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and is the pilot plant for a future 30MW plant. The world-leading plant includes multiple high temperature receivers mounted at the focal point of thousands of solar reflecting heliostats. The plant uses molten sodium as a heat transfer fluid.
While molten sodium offers considerable thermal advantages, it poses significant safety challenges. CNF worked with Arup and Vast process engineers to implement rigorous risk control procedures and systems to improve safety of the plant. This included participating in HAZOP and risk workshops, and conducting Safety Integrity Level (SIL) studies to deliver a Safety Instrumented System (SIS).