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
- Canadian company sets up shop on Iron Range to make solar panelson July 6, 2019 at 7:26 am
Heliene assembles solar panels from silicon cells it buys primarily from Taiwan; special solar glass from Malaysia; and other critical materials from Italy. New machines with big robot arms place the ... […]
- How (and Why) Solar Will Take Over The Worldon July 6, 2019 at 6:06 am
To understand how silicon solar panels make electricity requires shrinking down to ... Some scientists are working on using new materials. There's a mineral known as perovskite that Aggarwal describes ... […]
- Toyota Tests Prius PHV With 860 W Solar Charging Systemon July 5, 2019 at 9:29 pm
Various data, including the power generation output of the solar battery panel and the amount ... environmental durability, surface materials, and other factors are based on specifications for ... […]
- Abundant Sun, Yet No Energy: Solar Panels Leave People High And Dryon July 5, 2019 at 9:01 pm
The inefficiency of solar panels to produce reliable electricity ... and spurious sales of substandard materials. Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England ... […]
- I just installed solar panels because now’s the timeon July 5, 2019 at 7:01 am
The price of solar has fallen by as much as 70 percent over the past decade, thanks to lower material costs and efficiency increases that mean fewer panels are needed per roof. I started talking to ... […]
- This solar array expands itself at the right temperatureon July 4, 2019 at 10:25 am
That’s the idea behind this research project, which uses shape-shifting materials to make a solar panel grow from ... bloom into the full-sized array, no power necessary. That would potentially ... […]
- Experiments show dramatic increase in solar cell outputon July 3, 2019 at 12:23 pm
Overall, that could produce an increase in the power produced by the solar cell -- from a theoretical maximum of 29.1 percent, up to a maximum of about 35 percent. Actual silicon cells are not yet at ... […]
- Harvard’s tiny, insect-inspired RoboBee X-Wing can fly using solar poweron June 28, 2019 at 9:51 am
“This has been one of the major milestones in the development of insect-scale flying robots,” Noah Jafferis, a research associate in Materials Science and ... At present, the solar-powered robot ... […]
- RoboBee Cuts The Cord: 4 Wings And Solar Panels Helps Microbot Fly Soloon June 26, 2019 at 5:12 pm
The tiny solar-powered robot offers a glimpse of what the drones of the ... Microbotics Laboratory/Harvard SEAS Microbots are a great way to test advances in materials and engineering and develop ... […]
- A solar-powered robot bee shows how insect drones may take flighton June 26, 2019 at 10:08 am
This tiny, solar-powered, bee-like robot could be the future of drones ... and it uses recent advances in materials and engineering to achieve new power efficiency. A paper describing it appears in ... […]
via Bing News