Transparent Aerogel Insulation for Solar Heat Concentration Elements
Small Business Information
30 Forbes Road, Bldg B, Northborough, MA, 01532
AbstractAmericaÂ¿s dependence on foreign sources of fuel represents an economic and security threat for the country. Solar concentration power (SCP) production systems offer the opportunity to harness one of the United StatesÂ¿ most under utilized natural resources; sunlight. However, although the commercialization of this technology is increasing, it will not become a significant source of electricity production until the costs of deploying and operating SCP plants are further reduced. This project will develop technology to advance parabolic trough SCP technologies, which are close to meeting the required energy production cost levels. In particular, a transparent aero-gel insulation will be developed to replace the costly vacuum insulation systems that are currently used in parabolic trough designs. Phase I will optimize the optical and thermal properties of the aero-gel to meet the needs of this application. The results will be used to model the performance of a parabolic trough Heat Collection Element (HCE) system, which uses this novel material in place of a vacuum. During Phase II, a prototype system will be built and tested. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Beyond the application to parabolic trough SCP systems, this novel insulation material should find use in other solar applications, such as photovoltaics, solar power towers, solar water heating, heating of buildings, and smaller-scale distributed solar concentrated power technologies
* information listed above is at the time of submission.