Log In   |   Sign up

New User Registration

Article / Abstract Submission
Register here
Press Release Submission
Register here
coolingZONE Supplier
Register here

Existing User

            Forgot your password
John O | November 2018

Researchers get $1.6 million to work on solar cell windows and high-temp solar power

By Josh Perry, Editor


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office is giving the University of Michigan $1.6 million to work on a pair of projects – electricity-generating windows and high-temperature solar power.


A transparent aerogel could reduce the energy loss in absorbers for solar thermal power plants by 67 percent. (Lenert Lab/Michigan Engineering)


According to a report from the school, $1.3 million is dedicated to solar cell windows. Instead of coating windows to reduce glare or to block thermal energy, the researchers are creating flexible, clear solar cell sheets that can capture the unwanted energy.


The solar cell sheets are composed of transparent and flexible organic materials. Researchers have already developed sheets that capture eight percent of the sunlight, but the goal is to double that total with 50% transparency.


The second project looks to reduce the amount of heat lost when capturing solar thermal energy by holding the captured energy as heat until it needs to be converted to electricity.


The article explained, “In a solar thermal setup, sunlight shines onto an absorber, typically a pipe with a fluid inside, and the heat carried by the fluid is used to turn a turbine in a power plant.” What is unique about this project is the operating temperature would be 700°C, which is a level that most conventional solar collectors lose 15 KW/m2.


Researchers believe they can cut that energy loss by as much as 67% with a silica aerogel insulator enhanced by an ultrathin coating, which blocks the infrared rays that cause most of the heat loss at high temperatures.


“The ultimate goal is to achieve such high temperatures that a special form of carbon dioxide can be used as the heated fluid, enabling more efficient conversion to electricity than is possible with the standard steam turbine,” the article added.

Choose category and click GO to search for thermal solutions


Subscribe to Qpedia

a subscription to qpedia monthly thermal magazine from the media partner advanced thermal solutions, inc. (ats)  will give you the most comprehensive and up-to-date source of information about the thermal management of electronics


Submit Article

if you have a technical article, and would like it to be published on coolingzone
please send your article in word format to articles@coolingzone.com or upload it here

Subscribe to coolingZONE

Submit Press Release

if you have a press release and would like it to be published on coolingzone please upload your pr  here

Member Login

Supplier's Directory

Search coolingZONE's Supplier Directory
become a coolingzone supplier

list your company in the coolingzone supplier directory

suppliers log in

Media Partner, Qpedia


Heat Transfer Calculators