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First Thermal and Fluids Engineering Summer Conference

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

DIRECTIONAL SELECTIVITY AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO CONCENTRATION FOR HIGH EFFICIENCY SOLAR THERMAL SYSTEMS

DOI: 10.1615/TFESC1.ecv.012752
pages 617-625

Lee A. Weinstein
Mechanical Engineering Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

David M. Bierman
Device Research Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Evelyn N. Wang
Device Research Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Gang Chen
Mechanical Engineering Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA


KEY WORDS: Directional selectivity, solar concentration, solar thermal

Abstract

Concentrating sunlight is a common practice for increasing the efficiency of solar energy conversion systems, especially solar thermal systems operating at high temperature. Directionally selective surfaces, surfaces which absorb or transmit in certain directions but reflect in others, can also be used to increase the efficiency of such systems. Directional selectivity has been shown to be theoretically capable of achieving efficiencies identical to those under maximum solar concentration. Maximum solar concentration is not achieved in current systems due to practical limitations. This paper investigates the directionally selective properties which would be required to surpass the performance of current concentrating systems.

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