SunShot Project aims to make solar cost competitive
A multidisciplinary engineering team at the University of California, San Diego developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures. The new material can also withstand temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius and survive many years outdoors in spite of exposure to air and humidity. Their work, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot program, was published recently in two separate articles in the journal Nano Energy.
By contrast, current solar absorber material functions at lower temperatures and needs to be overhauled almost every year for high temperature operations.
“We wanted to create a material that absorbs sunlight that doesn’t let any of it escape. We want the black hole of sunlight,” said Sungho Jin, a professor in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Jin, along with professor Zhaowei Liu of the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering professor Renkun Chen, developed the Silicon boride-coated nanoshell material. They are all experts in functional materials engineering.
The novel material features a “multiscale” surface created by using particles of many sizes ranging from 10 nanometers to 10 micrometers. The multiscale structures can trap and absorb light which contributes to the material’s high efficiency when operated at higher temperatures.
Concentrating solar power (CSP) is an emerging alternative clean energy market that produces approximately 3.5 gigawatts worth of power at power plants around the globe—enough to power more than 2 million homes, with additional construction in progress to provide as much as 20 gigawatts of power in coming years. One of the technology’s attractions is that it can be used to retrofit existing power plants that use coal or fossil fuels because it uses the same process to generate electricity from steam.
Traditional power plants burn coal or fossil fuels to create heat that evaporates water into steam. The steam turns a giant turbine that generates electricity from spinning magnets and conductor wire coils. CSP power plants create the steam needed to turn the turbine by using sunlight to heat molten salt. The molten salt can also be stored in thermal storage tanks overnight where it can continue to generate steam and electricity, 24 hours a day if desired, a significant advantage over photovoltaic systems that stop producing energy with the sunset.
One of the most common types of CSP systems uses more than 100,000 reflective mirrors to aim sunlight at a tower that has been spray painted with a light absorbing black paint material. The material is designed to maximize sun light absorption and minimize the loss of light that would naturally emit from the surface in the form of infrared radiation.
The UC San Diego team’s combined expertise was used to develop, optimize and characterize a new material for this type of system over the past three years.
The Latest on: Solar power material
via Google News
The Latest on: Solar power material
- Worldwide Solar PV Glass Markets, 2020-2025 - ResearchAndMarkets.comon May 13, 2020 at 2:57 am
The "Solar PV Glass Market - Forecasts from 2020 to 2025" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.The Global Solar PV Glass Market was valued at US$7.175 billion in 2019.In this ...
- Solar panels are more efficient than you’ve heard. This material could make them even better.on May 13, 2020 at 12:59 am
Today’s typical silicon solar panels operate at around 22 percent efficiency, but a new crystalline material called perovskite could soon raise the solar efficiency bar much further.
- Polymer gel pulls in water vapor to cool solar panelson May 12, 2020 at 9:47 am
Given that solar panels lie in direct sunlight, it goes without saying that they can get pretty hot. Unfortunately, though, they also get less efficient as they heat up. That said, a new gel could ...
- Our ‘zombie’ solar cells could power indoor devices without sunlighton May 12, 2020 at 8:30 am
To avoid this but still make the Internet of Things possible, my colleagues and I are helping develop a new type of smart solar cell that can adapt to the amount of available light, meaning it can ...
- New solar panels suck water from air to cool themselves downon May 11, 2020 at 3:19 pm
Science ’ It’s “a simple, elegant, and effective [way] to retrofit existing solar cell panels for an instant efficiency boost,” says Liangbing Hu, a materials scientist at the University of Maryland, ...
- A solar-powered hand-washing basin encourages personal hygiene in Ghana amidst coronaviruson May 9, 2020 at 1:14 am
Richard Kwarteng and Jude Osei built a hand-washing basin from local materials as a way to encourage personal hygeine in the wake of coronavirus ...
- Power Line: Oil industry cracks widen, a 150-hour battery, and one number that reveals how coronavirus is changing the rooftop solar industryon May 8, 2020 at 10:06 am
This week, we share an update on oil markets, reveal fresh details of a new breakthrough battery, and explain why online solar sales are here to stay.
- Space Force will test solar power transmission during X-37B space plane’s next mystery flighton May 7, 2020 at 1:33 am
B space plane is sent into orbit this month, it will try out a technology that’s been more than a decade in the making: space-based solar power.
- 'Artificial leaf' concept inspires research into solar-powered fuel productionon May 5, 2020 at 1:59 am
Rice University researchers have created an efficient, low-cost device that splits water to produce hydrogen fuel.
- A breakthrough approaches for solar poweron May 2, 2020 at 10:25 pm
The Met Office says it has probably been the sunniest April on record and the solar power industry reported its highest ever production of electricity (9.68GW) in the UK at 12:30 on Monday 20 April.
via Bing News