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Optical and transport properties of metal-oil nanofluids for thermal solar industry: experimental characterization, performance assessment and molecular dynamics insights

Carrillo-Berdugo, I., Estelle, P., Sani, E., Mercatelli, L., Grau-Crespo, R. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8845-1719, Zorrilla, D. and Navas, J. (2021) Optical and transport properties of metal-oil nanofluids for thermal solar industry: experimental characterization, performance assessment and molecular dynamics insights. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 9 (11). pp. 4194-4205. ISSN 2168-0485

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c00053

Abstract/Summary

Concentrating solar power (CSP) technology can become a very valuable contributor to the transformation and decarbonization of our energy landscape, but for this technology to overcome the barrier towards market deployment, significant enhancements in the solar-to-thermal-to-electric energy conversion efficiency are needed. Here, an in-depth experimental analysis of the optical and transport properties of Pd-containing aromatic oil-based nanofluids is presented, with promising results for their prospective use as volumetric absorbers and heat transfer fluids in next-generation parabolic-trough CSP plants. A 0.030 wt.% concentration of Pd nanoplates increases sunlight extinction by 90% after 20 mm propagation length and thermal conductivity by 23.5% at 373 K, which is enough to increase the overall system efficiency up to 45.3% and to reduce pumping requirements by 20%, with minimum increases in the collector length. In addition to that, molecular dynamics simulations are used to gain atomistic-level insights about the heat and momentum transfer in these nanofluids, with a focus on the role played by the solid-liquid interface in these phenomena. Molecules chemisorbed at the interface behave as a shelter-like boundary that hinders heat conduction, as a high thermal resistance path, and minimizes the impact of the solid on dynamic viscosity, as it weakens the interactions between the nanoplate and the surrounding non-adsorbed fluid molecules.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:97103
Uncontrolled Keywords:Nanofluids; Concentrated Solar Power; Thermal performance; Molecular Dynamics; Sunlight extinction.
Publisher:American Chemical Society

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