These ceramic-metal plates can be used for heat transfer in concentrating solar-thermal plants. Within the heat exchanger the plates are vertically stacked, but in this illustration they are tilted to better show their customizable channels.
Illustration courtesy of Purdue University/Raymond Hassan.
To generate electricity in a CSP plant, a field of mirrors concentrates sunlight onto a receiver at the top of a tower that circulates molten salt throughout the plant. The molten salt flows through a heat exchanger that transfers heat from the molten salt to a working fluid that’s then used to drive a turbine and create electricity.
Dr. Mario Caccia and graduate student Alex Stayer from Professor Ken Sandhage’s research group load a crucible to contain the zirconium-copper liquid that the preform material will soak up to create the cermet.