Corrosion testing device for in-situ corrosion characterization in operational molten salts storage tanks: A516 Gr70 carbon steel performance under molten salts exposure
Ruiz-Cabañas, F. Javier
Fernández Renna, Ana Inés
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Concentrated solar power (CSP) generation is becoming a very important player within the renewable energy sector thanks to increased introduction of these facilities into the conventional electricity market. CSP plants become dispatchable when integrating thermal energy storage (TES) systems which allow electricity production at any time of the year. Sensible TES using nitrate salts mixtures as storage fluid are the most extended arrangement for commercial CSP facilities. In addition to storage time, dimensions, thermal-mechanical requirements, among others, corrosion compatibility between high temperature nitrate salts, and structural materials is a key factor to take into consideration for the final storage system design. Many scientific contributions have been developed regarding metallic alloys corrosion performance in nitrate salts at laboratory scale. Accordingly, lack of technical background is identified about nitrates corrosion in relevant operation conditions. Therefore, a corrosion testing device (CTD) was designed to evaluate corrosion behavior of structural materials inside high temperature nitrate salts storage tanks in operation. Furthermore, A516 Gr70 carbon steel was evaluated at different exposures times by using the CTD in the TES-PS10 pilot plant. Results reported within this study show the feasibility of the CTD to be used at commercial scale allowing corrosion preventive maintenance practices and materials selection optimization. Moreover, A516 Gr70 carbon steel displayed an excellent corrosion performance after nitrate salts exposure being recommended for long time service under continuous and intermittent exposure to nitrate salts. In addition to low corrosion rates, carbon steel generated protective and well adhered iron oxide layers without significant localized phenomena. Finally, negligible susceptibility to crevice and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) phenomena is showed by carbon steel under test conditions.