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research-article

SOLAR SELECTIVE VOLUMETRIC RECEIVERS FOR HARNESSING SOLAR THERMAL ENERGY

[+] Author and Article Information
Vikrant Khullar

Mechanical Engineering Department, Thapar University, Patiala - 147004, Punjab, India
vikrantkhullar1@gmail.com

Himanshu Tyagi

School of Mechanical, Materials, and Energy Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, Rupnagar, 140001, India
himanshu.tyagi@iitrpr.ac.in

Todd Otanicar

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74104, USA
todd-otanicar@utulsa.edu

Yasitha Hewakuruppu

School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052, Australia
yasitha.hewakuruppu@gmail.com

Robert Taylor

School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052, Australia
robert.taylor@unsw.edu.au

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039214 History: Received December 31, 2016; Revised January 15, 2018

Abstract

Given the largely untapped solar energy resource, there has been an ongoing international effort to engineer improved solar-harvesting technologies. Towards this, the possibility of engineering a solar selective volumetric receiver (SSVR) has been explored in the present study. Common heat transfer liquids (HTLs) typically have high transmissivity in the visible-near infrared (NIR) region and high emission in the mid-infrared region, due to the presence of intra-molecular vibration bands. This precludes them from being solar absorbers. In fact, they have nearly the opposite properties from selective surfaces such as cermet, TiNOx, and black chrome. However, liquid receivers which approach the radiative properties of selective surfaces, can be realized through a combination of anisotropic geometries of metal nanoparticles and transparent heat mirrors. In this paper, the 'effective' solar absorption to infrared emission ratio has been evaluated for a representative SSVR employing copper nanospheroids and Sn-In2O3 based heat mirrors. It has been found that a solar selectivity comparable to (or even higher than) cermet-based Schott receiver is achievable through control of the cut-off solar selective wavelength. Theoretical calculations show that the thermal efficiency of Sn-In2O3 based SSVR is 6 to 7% higher than the cermet-based Schott receiver. Furthermore, stagnation temperature experiments have been conducted on a lab-scale SSVR to validate the theoretical results. It has been found that higher stagnation temperatures (and hence higher thermal efficiencies) compared to conventional surface absorption-based collectors are achievable through proper control of nanoparticle concentration.

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