In this study, micro-scale heat transfer and phase change in molten salts are presented using our originally developed device: the micro-bolometer Infrared focal plane arrays (IR FPA) measuring system is a portable type instrument, which is re-designed to measure the thermal phenomena in high temperature up to 700 °C or higher. The superimpose system is newly setup adjusted to the signal processing in high temperature to realize the quantitative thermal imaging, simultaneously. The portable type apparatus for a quantitative micro-scale thermography using a micro-bolometer has been proposed based on an achromatic lens design to capture a micro-scale image in the long-wave infrared, a video signal superimposing for the real time emissivity correction, and a pseudo acceleration of a timeframe.
Combined with the superimpose technique, the micro-scale thermal imaging in high temperature is achieved and the molten flows of the solar salts, sodium nitrate, and potassium nitrate are successfully observed. The solar salt, the mixture of sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate, shows a different shape of exothermic heat front morphology in the lower phase transition (solidification) temperature than the nitrates on cooling. The proposed measuring technique will be utilized to accelerate the screening step to determine the phase diagram and the eutectics of the multiple mixtures of candidate molten salts, which may be used as heat transport medium from the concentrated solar power to a processing plant for thermal energy storage.