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Energy Express

  • Editor: Bernard Kippelen
  • Vol. 19, Iss. S3 — May. 9, 2011
  • pp: A245–A257

Design and global optimization of high-efficiency solar thermal systems with tungsten cermets

David Chester, Peter Bermel, John D. Joannopoulos, Marin Soljacic, and Ivan Celanovic  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue S3, pp. A245-A257 (2011)

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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).

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(230.5298) Optical devices : Photonic crystals

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: January 27, 2011
Revised Manuscript: March 9, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: March 10, 2011
Published: March 29, 2011

David Chester, Peter Bermel, John D. Joannopoulos, Marin Soljacic, and Ivan Celanovic, "Design and global optimization of high-efficiency solar thermal systems with tungsten cermets," Opt. Express 19, A245-A257 (2011)

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