Project Description

Harvesting of alternative renewable energy resources is considered to be one of the most challenging problems facing the world today. Although significant efforts have been invested in generation of green energy, they are still deficient due to the multiple technological and environmental uncertainties that continually arise. This study potentially facilitates opening up a new direction in solar energetics, proposing a competitive alternative to solar cells. The project, driven in close collaboration with a variety of the national and foreign research institutions, is aimed at improvement and further prototype tests of a novel, nanofluid-based technology of the solar steam production. The core idea of the method is in the concentration of sunlight on a nanofluid rather than at a continuous dark surface, found in conventional solar generators. In this case, the nanoparticles, dispersed in liquid, are accumulating the sunlight and heating the liquid with greater intensity, acting as a cloud of mobile nano-sized heaters. When the liquid gets to saturation, the steam bubbles nucleate and grow directly at the particles, rather than in a limited space between the micron-sized asperities of the continuous surface (conventional case), enhancing vaporization due to the larger total area of the particle-fluid interphase. The planned study concerns the intensification of this process to enable its commercial implementation. Special attention is paid to adaptation of the technology for use in northern regions making the project relevant for green electricity production in nothern climate conditions. At first we are planning to sketch a theoretical description of the process. Further, making use of the developed theory, we go for a parametric study and design of the efficient pilot prototype for the production of electricity from solar steam. Finally, constructing and fine-tuning the prototype, we reach the maximum possible efficiency.