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Proceedings Paper

Testing and optical modeling of novel concentrating solar receiver geometries to increase light trapping and effective solar absorptance
Author(s): Julius Yellowhair; Clifford K. Ho; Jesus D. Ortega; Joshua M. Christian; Charles E. Andraka
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Paper Abstract

Concentrating solar power receivers are comprised of panels of tubes arranged in a cylindrical or cubical shape on top of a tower. The tubes contain heat-transfer fluid that absorbs energy from the concentrated sunlight incident on the tubes. To increase the solar absorptance, black paint or a solar selective coating is applied to the surface of the tubes. However, these coatings degrade over time and must be reapplied, which reduces the system performance and increases costs. This paper presents an evaluation of novel receiver shapes and geometries that create a light-trapping effect, thereby increasing the effective solar absorptance and efficiency of the solar receiver. Several prototype shapes were fabricated from Inconel 718 and tested in Sandia’s solar furnace at an irradiance of ~30 W/cm2. Photographic methods were used to capture the irradiance distribution on the receiver surfaces. The irradiance profiles were compared to results from raytracing models. The effective solar absorptance was also evaluated using the ray-tracing models. Results showed that relative to a flat plate, the new geometries could increase the effective solar absorptance from 86% to 92% for an intrinsic material absorptance of 86%, and from 60% to 73% for an intrinsic material absorptance of 60%.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 September 2015
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9559, High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Energy Applications X, 95590A (5 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2186647
Show Author Affiliations
Julius Yellowhair, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Clifford K. Ho, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Jesus D. Ortega, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Joshua M. Christian, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Charles E. Andraka, Sandia National Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9559:
High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Energy Applications X
Adam P. Plesniak; Andru J. Prescod, Editor(s)

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