Scientific Results

Graphene and carbon black nano-composite polymer absorbers for a pyro-electric solar energy harvesting device based on LiNbO3 crystals

Year: 2014

Authors: Battista L., Mecozzi L., Coppola S., Vespini V., Grilli S., Ferraro P.

Autors Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (CNR-INO), Via Campi Flegrei 34, 80078 Pozzuoli, NA, Italy;
Università degli Studi di Napoli ‘‘Federico II’’, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Napoli, Italy

Abstract: A novel scheme for solar energy harvesting based on the pyro-electric effect has been demonstrated. The proposed harvester is based on an optical system focusing solar radiation onto a ferroelectric crystal (i.e. lithium niobate). The face exposed to the heating source is coated with a nanocomposite material (i.e. carbon black and graphene particles) that greatly improves the adsorption of solar radiation. The solar energy focused onto the crystal through a simple optical system allows one to induce a thermal gradient able to generate electric charges. Experiments have been carried out indoor as well as outdoor (in Pozzuoli, Naples, Italy, on December). Results show that two configurations appear to be preferable: (a) pyro-electric element with carbon black-based coating and a Fresnel lens (surface of about 100 cm(2)); (b) pyro-electric element with graphene-based coating and a Fresnel lens (surface of about 600 cm(2)). In both experimental arrangements the maximum temperature variation reached locally onto the lithium niobate substrate is relatively high with peaks greater than 250 degrees C. The maximum electrical power peak is of about 90 mu W and about 50 mu W for (a) and (b) respectively. The results of this first investigation are encouraging for further development of more efficient harvesting devices. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Journal/Review: APPLIED ENERGY

Volume: 136      Pages from: 357  to: 362

More Information: The authors acknowledge the EFOR-CABIR CNR Project and the Molecular NAnotechnology for HeAlth and EnvironmenT (MAAT) PONO2_00563_3316357 for financial support.
KeyWords: Solar energy harvesting; Pyro-electric effect; Carbon black; Graphene; Lithium niobate
DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.09.035

Citations: 25
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English