PROJECT PROFILE: Dartmouth College

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Funding Opportunity: CSP: APOLLO
SunShot Subprogram: CSP
Location: Hanover, NH
Amount Awarded: $656,831
Awardee Cost Share: $173,020

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This project will develop large-scale, reliable coating technologies that facilitate vacuum-free, high-efficiency, low-cost CSP systems. The coating will be applied to Norwich Technology’s vacuum-free SunTrap CSP receiver systems for prototype demonstration, achieving a thermal efficiency greater than 90% at 700°C. This project was announced on September 16, 2015 at the Solar Power International conference. Read the press release.

APPROACH

Conventional solar cells come with limited energy storage capacity and intermittency issues. CSP systems offer important energy storage advantages, but have expensive key components that have to work under vacuum to avoid damaging oxidation. Dartmouth College will work to provide a lower cost, efficient alternative to conventional solar panel construction that can be applied on a large scale by using transformative reliable coating technologies.

INNOVATION

Based on a novel metal nanostructure and ceramic matrix, this new approach provides optimal spectral selectivity along with long-term antioxidation protection while avoiding the need for costly vacuum deposition. Through collaboration with Norwich Technologies, the team will scale up production of the antioxidation cermet coating and incorporate it into SunTrap receiver systems, advancing air-stable, high-temperature solar selective coating technology and improving commercial applications.