3D printed solar collector up to 20% more efficient

Typical receiver designs for solar thermal collector energy systems use a flat panel of tubes or tubes arranged in a cylinder. These configurations can absorb up to 80% to 90% of concentrated sunlight.

Now researchers and engineers at Sandia National Laboratories have improved on that with a 3D printable configuration that is up to 20% more effective at absorbing sunlight.

Clifford Ho, Acting Manager, R&D S&E, Mechanical Engineering for Sandia explains: “When light is reflected off of a flat surface, it’s gone. So we configured the panels of tubes in a radial or louvered pattern that traps the light at different scales. The light reflects, and then reflects again toward the interior of the receiver and gets absorbed, sort of like the walls of a sound-proof room.”

Read more at 3DPrint.com
Photo: Randy Montoya/Sandia

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