Solar Thermal Energy

Solar receivers/collectors play an essential role in solar thermal-based hot water heating and cooling systems for buildings, steam generation for various industrial applications, and power production. Solar thermal energy is extensively used in industrial and domestic applications like solar drying operation, space heating, cooling, water heating, desalting of water, etc., by non-concentrated and concentrated solar thermal (CST) systems. The solar receiver tube is one of the critical components in solar thermal technology. The evacuated tube solar collector is the most extensively used solar thermal collector in the market. The development of novel materials with low cost and high solar absorptance is more critical for economic and high-performance solar energy harvesting and thermal energy storage systems.

Transition metal-based spinel is a suitable candidate and are typically used for solar absorber material due to the presence of partially filled d-orbitals, which allows for excellent absorption of solar radiation and is tuned to get a spectral selective nature by a suitable combination of two or three transition metal oxides. At the first stage synthesis of nano spinel and low refractive materials (MgF2/ SiO2) will be performed for coating development from lab to prototype receiver tube (1m). Moving forward we will focus on spinel-based nanocomposite PCM from lab to 1 kWh prototype. Further, design and fabrication of solar receiver tubes and thermal storage system Integration and validation by using center's facility.