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Proceedings Paper

Reduction of radiative heat losses for solar thermal receivers
Author(s): Clifford K. Ho; Joshua M. Christian; Jesus D. Ortega; Julius Yellowhair; Matthew J. Mosquera; Charles E. Andraka
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Paper Abstract

Solar thermal receivers absorb concentrated sunlight and can operate at high temperatures exceeding 600°C for production of heat and electricity. New fractal-like designs employing light-trapping structures and geometries at multiple length scales are proposed to increase the effective solar absorptance and efficiency of these receivers. Radial and linear structures at the micro (surface coatings and depositions), meso (tube shape and geometry), and macro (total receiver geometry and configuration) scales redirect reflected solar radiation toward the interior of the receiver for increased absorptance. Hotter regions within the interior of the receiver also reduce thermal emittance due to reduced local view factors in the interior regions, and higher concentration ratios can be employed with similar surface irradiances to reduce the effective optical aperture and thermal losses. Coupled optical/fluid/thermal models have been developed to evaluate the performance of these designs relative to conventional designs. Results show that fractal-like structures and geometries can reduce total radiative losses by up to 50% and increase the thermal efficiency by up to 10%. The impact was more pronounced for materials with lower inherent solar absorptances (< 0.9). Meso-scale tests were conducted and confirmed model results that showed increased light-trapping from corrugated surfaces relative to flat surfaces.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 October 2014
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9175, High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Energy Applications IX, 917506 (7 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2063152
Show Author Affiliations
Clifford K. Ho, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Joshua M. Christian, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Jesus D. Ortega, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Julius Yellowhair, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Matthew J. Mosquera, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Charles E. Andraka, Sandia National Labs. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9175:
High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Energy Applications IX
Adam P. Plesniak; Candace Pfefferkorn, Editor(s)

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