Infoscience

Conference paper

Selective solar absorber coatings on receiver tubes for CSP - energy-efficient production process by sol-gel dip-coating and subsequent induction heating

The energy efficiency of production processes for components of solar energy systems is an important issue. Other factors, which are important for the production of black selective solar coatings include production speed, cycle time and homogeneity of the coating, as well as the minimization of the quantity of the needed chemical precursors. In this paper a new energy-efficient low-cost production process is presented for production of optically selective coatings for solar thermal absorbers. The used method to produce such coatings is sol-gel dip-coating for which all the solutions have been synthetized at the Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory of EPFL. The used precursors are tetraethyl orthosilicate, manganese acetate tetrahydrate, copper chloride dihydrate and cobalt chloride hexahydrate. Solutions were obtained by dissolving these precursors in a solution based on a mixture of absolute ethanol, nitric acid and demineralized water. The layers deposited on sheetlike substrates were annealed in a benchtop furnace. For 2 meter long austenitic stainless steel tubes, a novel, fast and energy-efficient process based on induction heating was developed for the thermal annealing. An induction coil passes along the tube. An alternating current flowing in the coil induces a current in the tube. By resistive heating, the temperature of both the metallic tube wall and the deposited film increases. The homogeneity of the temperature distribution of the tube after a single passage of the coil was monitored by infrared imaging. The optical and morphological properties of the Cu-Co-Mn-Si-0 based triple layer have been characterized by spectrophotometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy (ToFSIMS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). After optimization of the multilayer design, a solar absorptance of 0.95 and a thermal emissivity of 0.12 at 100 C have been achieved. The intermediate Cu-Co-Mn-Si-0 layer was analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. The likewise obtained images show an agglomeration of crystalline grains with 5-20 nm in diameter. Therefore, we can consider that the Cu-Co-Mn-Si-0 phase is nanocrystalline. In order to roughly estimate the corrosion resistance of the coating in an acidic environment, a simple corrosion test in harsh conditions confirmed the durability of the novel sol-gel coating. Moreover, the excellent stability at elevated temperatures in ambient air makes the coating an interesting candidate for solar applications involving concentrated solar radiation, such as the generation of solar electricity (concentrated solar power), industrial process heating and solar cooling. For that reason, prototype coatings consisting of stacks of three individual layers were deposited on 2 meter long stainless steel tubes. (C) 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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