Direct Absorption, Nano Fluid, Solar Energy, Solar Evaporation and Economic Analysis
Vaporization (evaporation and boiling) through direct absorption solar collectors (DASCs) has recently drawn significant attention. Many studies suggested that plasmatic nanoparticles, such as gold nano- particles, can significantly enhance the photo-thermal conversion efficiency of DASCs. However, there is still a lack of comparative studies of the feasibility of using gold nanoparticles for solar applications. This study performed well-controlled experiments for two different categorized particles, i.e., gold and carbon black suspended in water, and assessed their performance in terms of evaporation rate, materials cost and energy consumption. The results show that gold nanofluids are not feasible for solar evaporation applications, where the cost of producing 1 g/s vapor is ~300 folds higher than that produced by carbon black nanofluids. This infeasibility is mainly due to the high cost and the low absorbance of gold comparing to carbon black nanoparticles. Moreover, this work reveals that with the increase of nano- particle concentration or incident solar radiation, more energy is trapped in a small volume of the nanofluid near the interface, resulting in a local higher temperature and a higher evaporation rate. For efficient steam production, future optimization of the system should consider concentrating more solar energy at the interface to maximize the energy consumed for evaporation.
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Unique Paper ID: 146974

Publication Volume & Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2

Page(s): 662 - 673
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