While the solar thermal industry has worked hard to drive cost out of production through automation there is still work to be dome in further reducing system costs. Simpler manufacturing technologies are still needed and the rising cost of metal needs to be addressed by the introduction of cheaper alternatives such as plastics and polymers.
For CSP development a greater knowledge of materials performance under high temperature and aggressive operating conditions is required.
TWI offers a combination of advanced fabrication technology underpinned by world-class materials expertise that spans polymers to high temperature super alloys and advanced coatings.
Facilities for high temperature materials testing including erosion and corrosion testing in molten salt complements this expertise in providing a unique service.
TWI technology such as friction stir welding for solid state joining has realised orders of magnitude cost savings in industries such as aerospace and the rail sector. This and other joining technologies such as advanced laser welding and novel adhesive applications combined with the innovative use of new materials will help drive costs down. System efficiency improvements can be realised through the use of advanced coatings and surface engineering.
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