Gravity and Pressure Driven Flow of Molten Salt: The Case of the MATS Project

Research Project

Molten salt is used as the thermal storage fluid at MATS which is a demonstration plant built in the North African desert area, inside the City for Science and Technology (SRTA-City), Borg El Arab, near Alexandria in Egypt.
ENEA was the first organization in the world to demonstrate the “new” CSP (concentrated solar power) technology where molten salts up to 550°C are used as HTF (heat transfer fluid) in linear (parabolic) concentrators. Molten salt has many advantages as it is not toxic, not flammable, and has a very high evaporation temperature.
On the other hand, it has many disadvantages, e.g. needs high pumping power when compared to oils and more importantly, blocking of the system occurs when it solidifies.
The purpose of this study is to model, analyze, and understand the behavior of the molten salt by numerically simulating the molten salt flow field under different flow conditions.



  • Investigate the Hitec molten salt’s thermal-hydraulic behavior in a smooth round pipe under broad ranges of surface heat flux and Reynolds number.
  • Analytical solution for the Quasi-Two-Dimensional Non-Isothermal fully developed flow of molten salt in a circular pipe.


Outcome: Publications

  • ElShafei, A.I., Sallam, O.K., Boraey, M.A. and Guaily, A., 2020, April. Prediction of the Hitec Molten Salt Convective Heat Transfer Performance Using Artificial Neural Networks. In Joint European-US Workshop on Applications of Invariance in Computer Vision (pp. 646-654). Springer, Cham.
  • ElShafei, A.I., Guaily, A. and Boraey, M.A., 2020, October. Comparative Study of Nusselt Number Correlations for Hitec Molten Salt. In 2020 2nd Novel Intelligent and Leading Emerging Sciences Conference (NILES) (pp. 282-287). IEEE.
  • ElShafei, A.I., Guaily, A. and Boraey, M.A., 2021. Turbulent Axisymmetric Non-Isothermal Flow of the Hitec Molten Salt with Temperature Dependent Properties: A Numerical Investigation. Journal of Advanced Research in Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences, 86(2), pp.1-14.
  • Boraey, M.A. and Guaily, A., 2021. Analytical solution for the quasi two-dimensional non-isothermal fully developed flow of molten salt in a circular pipe. Physics of Fluids, 33(11), p.113601.