Low-cost 'solar absorber' promising for future power plants

Emil Venere for Phys.org:  Researchers have shown how to modify commercially available silicon wafers into a structure that efficiently absorbs solar energy and withstands the high temperatures needed for "concentrated solar power" plants that might run up to 24 hours a day.

The research advances global efforts to design hybrid systems that combine solar photovoltaic cells, which convert visible and ultraviolet light into electricity, thermoelectric devices that convert heat into electricity, and steam turbines to generate electricity. The thermoelectric devices and steam turbines would be driven by heat collected and stored using mirrors to focus sunlight onto a "selective solar absorber and reflector."

To efficiently collect heat from the sun, specially designed surfaces based on low-cost materials are needed to selectively absorb only photons from a certain range of the light spectrum while reflecting others.  Full Article:

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