HITEC salt (NaNO2-NaO3-KNO3) and solar salt (NaO3-KNO3) are typical molten salts used in concentrated solar power. Adding nanoparticles is an effective method to improve the thermo-physical properties of pure salt. It is indispensable to experimentally study the rheological behaviours of salt seeded with nanoparticles, which can increase the specific heat capacity of pure salt. In this work, the viscosities of HITEC salt were measured with different shear rates in the temperature range of 200 °C to 450 °C firstly, while those of solar salt were measured in the temperature range of 250 °C to 500 °C. The experimental data showed reasonable agreement with the literature correlations, which verify the Newtonian behaviours of pure salts. The evolutions of the viscosities of nanocomposites in the same temperature range were measured and analysed, where the nanocomposites were synthesized with 1 wt.% or 2 wt.% Al2O3 nanopowder and graphene, respectively. Results showed that the addition of Al2O3 nanopowder had relatively little effect on viscosity, and the variations were about −35.4%~8.1% for the HITEC salt nanocomposites and −9.2%~68.1% for the solar salt nanocomposites. While graphene would apparently increase the viscosities of HITEC salt and solar salt, HITEC salt with the addition of graphene showed slight non-Newtonian fluid behaviour.
Xiao, X., Zhang, G., Ding, Y., & Wen, D. (2019). Rheological Characteristics of Molten Salt Seeded with Al2O3 Nanopowder and Graphene for Concentrated Solar Power. Energies, 12(3), https://doi.org/10.3390/en12030467