Scientific Results

Ultra-refractory diboride ceramics for solar plant receivers

Year: 2013

Authors: Mercatelli L., Sani E., Jafrancesco D., Sansoni P., Fontani D., Meucci M., Coraggia S., Marconi L., Sans J.-L., Beche E., Silvestroni L., Sciti D.

Autors Affiliation: CNR-INO Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Largo E. Fermi, 6, 50125 Firenze, Italy; PROMES-CNRS, Processes, Materials and Solar Energy Laboratory, 7 rue du Four Solaire, 66120 Font Romeu, France; CNR-ISTEC, Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali Ceramici, Via Granarolo 64, 48018 Faenza, Italy

Abstract: Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) is considered to be one of the most promising and sustainable technologies for electricity production in the future, and as efficiency of solar thermal systems rapidly increases with increasing working temperature, the big challenge for future is to develop novel solutions for solar receivers. In this framework, Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics (UHTCs) are mainly studied as thermal protection materials for aerospace and military applications, but their peculiar properties (very high melting points and good thermo-mechanical properties at high temperatures) can be advantageously exploited to increase the operating temperature of thermodynamic solar plants in concentrating solar power systems. This work is devoted to the study and characterization of the spectral reflectance of hafnium and zirconium diborides containing MoSi2 as secondary phase in order to evaluate their potential as novel solar absorbers. To assess the spectral selectivity properties, room-temperature hemispherical reflectance spectra were measured from the UV wavelength region to the mid-infrared, considering different levels of porosity for each system, in order to understand how porosity affect spectral reflectance. Moreover, for zirconium diboride and hafnium diboride composites containing 10vol% of MoSi2 sintering aid, the thermal emittance was measured in the 1100-1400K temperature range in PROMES-CNRS solar furnace. Data obtained were compared with spectral characteristics and high temperature emittance of a monolithic silicon carbide.

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More Information: Measurements in high temperature regime were possible with financial support by the Access to Research Infrastructures activity in the 7th Framework Programme of the EU (SFERA Grant Agreement n. 228296). Authors thank the PROMES Director and PROMES Researchers for the use of facilities. Authors thank Dr. Franco Francini for useful discussions about optical properties of UHTCs, C. Melandri for roughness measurements, R. Renis for
KeyWords: Borides; Ceramic materials; Electric power system protection; Hafnium; High temperature applications; Military applications; Military power plants; Porosity; Reflection; Silicon carbide; Sintering; Solar energy; Solar furnaces; Temperature; Zirconium compounds, Concentrating solar power; Emittances; Hemispherical reflectance; Spectral characteristics; Sustainable technology; Thermal protection material; Thermomechanical properties; Ultra-high-temperature ceramics, Solar absorbers

English