Novel receiver-enhanced solar vapor generation: Review and perspectives

Aikifa Raza, Jin You Lu, Safa Alzaim, Hongxia Li, Tiejun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Efficient solar vapor/steam generation is important for various applications ranging from power generation, cooling, desalination systems to compact and portable devices like drinking water purification and sterilization units. However, conventional solar steam generation techniques usually rely on costly and cumbersome optical concentration systems and have relatively low efficiency due to bulk heating of the entire liquid volume. Recently, by incorporating novel light harvesting receivers, a new class of solar steam generation systems has emerged with high vapor generation efficiency. They are categorized in two research streams: volumetric and floating solar receivers. In this paper, we review the basic principles of these solar receivers, the mechanism involving from light absorption to the vapor generation, and the associated challenges. We also highlight the two routes to produce high temperature steam using optical and thermal concentration. Finally, we propose a scalable approach to efficiently harvest solar energy using a semi-spectrally selective absorber with near-perfect visible light absorption and low thermal emittance. Our proposed approach represents a new development in thermally concentrated solar distillation systems, which is also cost-effective and easy to fabricate for rapid industrial deployment.

Original languageBritish English
Article numberen11010253
JournalEnergies
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Floating receiver
  • Solar vapor generation
  • Thermal concentration
  • Volumetric receiver

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