Photothermal response of CVD synthesized carbon (nano)spheres/aqueous nanofluids for potential application in direct solar absorption collectors: a preliminary investigation
Gérrard Eddy Jai Poinern,1 Sridevi Brundavanam,1 Monaliben Shah,1 Iafeta Laava,2 Derek Fawcett1
1Murdoch Applied Nanotechnology Research Group, 2Department of Physics, Energy Studies and Nanotechnology, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
Abstract: Direct-absorption solar collectors have the potential to offer an unlimited source of renewable energy with minimal environmental impact. Unfortunately, their performance is limited by the absorption efficiency of the working fluid. Nanoparticles of functionalized carbon nanospheres (CNS) have the potential to improve the photothermal properties of the working fluid. CNS are produced by the pyrolysis of acetylene gas in a tube-based electric furnace/chemical vapor deposition apparatus. The reaction takes place at 1000°C in the presence of nitrogen gas without the use of a catalyst. The synthesized CNS were examined and characterized using field-emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, thermal gravimetric analysis, and ultraviolet-visible analysis. The CNS powders with a mean particle size of 210 nm were then functionalized using tetraethylammonium hydroxide ([C2H5]4 N[OH]) and used to produce a series of aqueous nanofluids with varying mass content. The photothermal response of both the nanofluids and films composed of CNS were investigated under 1000 W/m2 solar irradiation.
Keywords: solar absorption, carbon nanospheres, nanofluids, photothermal
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