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Proceedings Paper

Hybrid thermal and electric and thermal solar energy generation based on thin-film optical coatings (Conference Presentation)

Paper Abstract

Increasing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of solar energy generation allowed them to compete with traditional carbon-based energy sources in many energy markets worldwide. However, a major problem facing the proliferation of solar energy generation is energy storage. Photovoltaic (PV) generators enjoy relatively high efficiency but suffer from high electric energy storage costs. On the other hand, solar-thermal energy conversion enables storing heat and dispatch electricity at lower storage costs but with less efficiency compared to photovoltaics. Hybridizing both solar energy conversion can address the energy storage problem. Furthermore, single junction PVs are unable to convert a large portion of the solar spectrum to energy which eventually lead to PV thermalization. Spectral beam splitting is a promising method to achieve high efficiency solar energy conversion while hybridizing electric and thermal solar energy generation. Here, we use novel thin-film based optical coatings to develop single element selective light reflector/absorber that reflects within the wavelength range corresponding to a PV cell absorption band, while absorbing the remaining solar spectrum. We show that reflecting solar light on a PV cell using a silver mirror is less efficient and has higher temperature compared to using selective light reflector/absorber when using optical concentration exceeding 2 suns. We demonstrate hybrid PV generation and water sanitation/desalination using an Aluminum sheet with thin-film selective light reflector /absorber deposited on one side, while the other side is treated with femtosecond laser to become superwicking.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2019
Proc. SPIE 11121, New Concepts in Solar and Thermal Radiation Conversion II, 111210C (9 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2528363
Show Author Affiliations
Mohamed El Kabbash, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Chunlei Guo, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Subhash Singh, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Giuseppe Strangi, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)
Michael Hinczewski, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11121:
New Concepts in Solar and Thermal Radiation Conversion II
Jeremy N. Munday; Peter Bermel, Editor(s)

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