Awardee: University of California, San Diego
Location: San Diego, California
SubprogramConcentrating Solar Power
Funding ProgramSunShot Concentrating Solar Power R&D
ProjectLow Cost High Performance Nanostructured Spectrally Selective Coating

Solar absorbing coating is a key enabling technology to achieve high-temperature high-efficiency concentrating solar power operation. A high-performance solar absorbing material must simultaneously meet all the following three stringent requirements: high thermal efficiency (usually measured by figure of merit), high-temperature durability, and oxidation resistance. The objective of this research is to employ a highly scalable process to fabricate and coat black oxide nanoparticles onto solar absorber surface to achieve ultra-high thermal efficiency. Black oxide nanoparticles have been synthesized using a facile hydrothermal process and coated onto absorber metal surface. The material composition, size distribution and morphology of the nanoparticle are guided by numeric modeling. Optical and thermal properties, such as solar and infrared absorptance and reflectance have been both modeled and measured. High temperature durability has been achieved by using nanocomposites and high temperature annealing. Mechanical durability on thermal cycling have also been investigated and optimized. The research outcomes demonstrate that all the project milestones have been achieved with the innovative solar absorbing coating developed at UCSD. Therefore, this technology is promising for commercial applications in next-generation high-temperature concentration solar power (CSP) plants.