The National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) at Sandia National Laboratories is conducting research on a Generation 3 Particle Pilot Plant (G3P3) that uses falling sandlike particles as the heat transfer medium. G3P3 proposes a system with 6 MWh of thermal energy storage in cylindrical bins made of steel that will be insulated internally using multiple layers of refractory materials[1]. The refractory materials can be applied by stacking pre-cast panels in a cylindrical arrangement or by spraying refractory slurry to the walls (shotcrete). A study on the two methods determined that shotcrete would be the preferred method in order to minimize geometric tolerance issues in the pre-cast panels, improve repairability, and to more closely resemble commercial-scale construction methods. Testing and analysis was conducted which showed shotcrete refractories could be applied with minimal damage and acceptable heat loss.

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