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Energies 2018, 11(1), 253; doi:10.3390/en11010253

Novel Receiver-Enhanced Solar Vapor Generation: Review and Perspectives

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Masdar Institute, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 54224, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Solar Thermal Energy)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar vapor generation; volumetric receiver; floating receiver; thermal concentration solar vapor generation; volumetric receiver; floating receiver; thermal concentration

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Raza, A.; Lu, J.-Y.; Alzaim, S.; Li, H.; Zhang, T. Novel Receiver-Enhanced Solar Vapor Generation: Review and Perspectives. Energies 2018, 11, 253.

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