The design and operation of a salt-gradient solar pond power plant at the Salton Sea presents problems not encountered at small research ponds that were built in the United States. The specific characteristics of the Salton Sea site and the desire to construct the pond using the local clay as a sealant represent major deviations from previous solar pond experience. The site-specific research in support of the plant design is described. The research activity included validation of the spectrophotometric light transmission measurement technique, a search for options for clarifying the turbid and colored water of the Salton Sea, development of water clarification specifications in terms common to industry practice, quantification of gas production from microbiological reactions in the ground, a determination of the combined effects of temperature and salinity on the permeation of the local clays, and a preliminary evaluation of material corrosion.
ENERGY PRODUCTION AND CONVERSION