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Second Thermal and Fluids Engineering  Conference

ISSN: 2379-1748
ISBN: 978-1-56700-430-4

On-Sun Testing of Hybrid Concentrating Photovoltaic/Thermal Solar Collector with Selective Nanoparticle Absorption


Concentrating photovoltaic/thermal (CPV/T) hybrid solar collectors are receiving increased interest in the US due to the ARPAE FOCUS program. The vast majority of these projects utilize spectrum-splitting to direct infrared energy to a thermal absorber while directing higher energy photons to a photovoltaic cell. Our approach for a hybrid system utilizes a suspended nanoparticle fluid to directly absorb non-PV photons. Non-absorbed photons transmit through the working fluid where they are directily converted into electricity by the PV cell. A prototype of this system was developed utilizing 14x concentrator architecture and PV arrangement based on the Cogenra T-14 system and a custom built nanoparticle filter/thermal receiver with greater than 5 m2 aperture. The thermal receiver utilizes a working fluid composed of indium tin oxide and gold nanoparticles and the PV receiver uses c-Si cell strings. In this study, we present the preliminary on-sun testing data for the system operating at the University of Tulsa and the first, to our knowledge, large scale on-sun testing of such a type of collector. Results are presented for different thermal and PV receiver flow rates, inlet temperatures and levels of solar flux.

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