Design and global optimization of high-efficiency solar thermal systems with tungsten cermets
Author(s)Chester, David A.; Bermel, Peter A.; Soljacic, Marin; Joannopoulos, John; Celanovic, Ivan L.
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Solar thermal, thermoelectric, and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems have high maximum theoretical efficiencies; experimental systems fall short because of losses by selective solar absorbers and TPV selective emitters. To improve these critical components, we study a class of materials known as cermets. While our approach is completely general, the most promising cermet candidate combines nanoparticles of silica and tungsten. We find that 4-layer silica-tungsten cermet selective solar absorbers can achieve thermal transfer efficiencies of 84.3% at 400 K, and 75.59% at 1000 K, exceeding comparable literature values. Three layer silica-tungsten cermets can also be used as selective emitters for InGaAsSb-based thermophotovoltaic systems, with projected overall system energy conversion efficiencies of 10.66% at 1000 K using realistic design parameters. The marginal benefit of adding more than 4 cermet layers is small (less than 0.26%, relative).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies; MIT Materials Research Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research Laboratory of Electronics
Optical Society of America
Chester, David et al. “Design and Global Optimization of High-efficiency Solar Thermal Systems with Tungsten Cermets.” Optics Express 19.S3 (2011): A245. © 2011 OSA
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