An overview of ultra-refractory ceramics for thermodynamic solar energy generation at high temperature

Year: 2019

Authors: Silvestroni L., Sciti D., Zoli L., Balbo A., Zanotto F., Orrù R., Licheri L., Musa C., Mercatelli L., Sani E.

Autors Affiliation: CNR-ISTEC, Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics, Via Granarolo 64, I-48018 Faenza, Italy; Corrosion and Metallurgy Study Centre “Aldo Daccò”, Engineering Department, University of Ferrara, G. Saragat 1, Ferrara 44122, Italy; Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry and Materials Department, University of Cagliari, via Marengo 2, Cagliari 09123, Italy: CNR-INO, National Institute of Optics, Largo E. Fermi, 6, I-50125 Firenze, Italy

Abstract: An efficiency improvement of concentrating solar power systems relies on a significant increase of the operating temperatures, exceeding 600 °C. This goal can be achieved through the use of solar absorbers possessing high spectral selectivity and stability at such temperatures. Suitable alternatives to the largely used silicon carbide can be found in the ultra-high temperature ceramics class. This study focuses on the effect of processing, microstructure evolution and surface texture on the optical properties at room and high temperature. ZrB2-based ceramics are taken as case study to detect any correlation amongst composition, porosity, mean grain size, roughness and spectral selectivity. In addition, the effect of surface variation, induced by chemical etching or by exposure to oxidizing environment, thus simulating the actual operation conditions, are evaluated and compared to SiC optical properties. Absorbance and solar selectivity are discussed as a function of the microstructural and surface properties upon detailed roughness characterization. Advantages in the use of UHTCs as solar absorbers, strength and criticalities related to the use of these ceramics in comparison with SiC are discussed.


Volume: 133      Pages from: 1257  to: 1267

More Information: This activity has been carried out in the framework of the FIRB2012-SUPERSOLAR project funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (Programma “Futuro in Ricerca”, prot. RBFR12TIT1). The Italian bank foundation “Fondazione Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze” is gratefully acknowledged for supporting a part of this activity within the framework of the SOLE-NANO project (pratica n. 2015.0861). Thanks are due Mr. M. Pucci, Mr. M. D
KeyWords: Ageing; Concentrating solar power; Optical properties; Solar absorbers; Ultra-high temperature ceramics; ZrB 2
DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2018.08.036

Citations: 24
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