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Symposium 23: Materials for Solar Thermal Energy Conversion and Storage



Concentrated solar technology is expected to contribute significantly to a future sustainable, efficient, and diverse energy mix. Together with suitable thermal energy storage systems, concentrated solar energy may provide base load power. Moreover, concentrated solar energy can be used for high-temperature process technology, e.g., for the production of fuels or chemicals. Material requirements in the field of concentrated solar energy are manifold: Besides thermal and thermomechanical stability, lifetime, and environmental resistance, appropriate functional properties (optical, chemical, and thermal) also must be taken into account.


The symposium will focus on concentrated-solar-power-related materials in a broader sense. In particular, the following topics will be covered: absorber materials (light-absorbing performance, selective coatings, robustness against thermal cycling, interactions with environmental effects, such as airborne mineral dust, vapor, and salts); innovative high-temperature construction and isolation materials for solar receivers and solar reactors; mirrors and mirror coatings (reflectivity, stability against pitting and delamination, self-cleaning surfaces, lifetime prediction considering temperature swings, ultraviolet irradiation, rain, dust, etc.); heat-transfer media (molten salts, particles, molten metals, etc.) with improved stability and wider operating temperatures; reactions between heat-transfer media and other components; novel materials for thermal energy storage systems (phase change materials, materials for thermochemical storage systems); and materials for (solar) thermochemical processes to produce H2, CO, or synthetic  fuels (metal oxide-based redox materials, catalysts, sulfur-based cycles, Cu–Cl cycle, etc.).



  • Absorbers, receivers, and high-temperature structural ceramics
  • Functional coatings and mirror materials
  • Heat-transfer media materials
  • Thermal energy storage materials
  • Materials for solar fuel production



Martin Schmücker, German Aerospace Center, Germany, martin.schmuecker@dlr.de

Weihuan Zhao, University of North Texas, Weihuan.Zhao@unt.edu

Martin Roeb, German Aerospace Center, Germany

Anthony McDaniel, Sandia National Laboratories



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