The project aims to revolutionise the collection and use of solar energy within cities by developing a new type of solar concentrator with new storage and control mechanisms for system integration.
This is a 3.5-year project starting from June 2013.
Project funding includes $4.5m from the Australian Commonwealth Government's Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
The thermal requirements of commercial and industrial building processes account for approximately half of global energy consumption. As such, there is a vast market for the supply of thermal energy in the 100-400°C range, a demand that is currently met by gas and electricity. However, if the correct technology is implemented it could also be met by concentrated solar power, eliminating billions of kilograms of CO2 emissions per year.
Funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and led by RMIT University, the Micro Urban Solar Integrated Concentrators (MUSIC) project aims to create a paradigm shift in urban solar collector technology by developing a new class of solar utilisation products to challenge the limit of current ones.
The project will develop innovative lightweight and thin concentrating collector platforms to deliver thermal energy up to 400°C and electricity from building roofs. These will:
- be fully contained in a glazed envelope
- have minimal wind loading and architectural impact
- have similar weight and thickness to a PV panel.
They can be either building-integrated or mountable on standard PV racks, thus minimising installation costs.
When coupled with the development of storage and energy/grid management techniques, this technology could potentially revolutionise the uptake and use of solar energy within cities. Significantly, this revolution would require only minor investments and short implementation times.
To achieve these ambitious goals, a multidisciplinary research and development approach will be applied. The project will combine novel collaborative science with innovative engineering and demand management to develop this cutting-edge technology.
- Gu, X., Taylor, R.A., Morrison, G., Rosengarten, G., “Theoretical Analysis of a Novel, Portable, CPC-based Solar Thermal Collector for Methanol Reforming“, Applied Energy, [accepted 13 January, 2014].
Absorbers (Surface Absorbers)
- Wang, H., and Wang,* L.P., 2013, “Perfect Selective Metamaterial Solar Thermal Absorbers,“ Optics Express, Vol. 21, pp. A1078-A1093.
- Wang, H., O’Dea, K., and Wang,* L.P., “Selective Absorption of Visible Light in Film-Coupled Nanoparticles by Exciting Magnetic Resonance,“ Optics Letters, revision submitted.
Absorbers (Volumetric Absorbers)
- Taylor, R.A., Otanicar, T.P., Hewakuruppu, Y., Bremond, F. Rosengarten G., Hawkes, E.R., Jiang, X, Coulombe, S., “Feasibility of Nanofluid-Based Optical Filters“, Applied Optics, 52, 7, pp. 1413-1422, 2013.
- Phelan, P.E., Otanicar, T., Taylor, R.A., Tyagi, T., “Trends and Opportunities in Direct-Absorption Solar Thermal Collectors“, J. of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications, 5 (2), 021003-021003-9, 2013.
- Otanicar, T., Taylor, R.A., Telang, C., “Photovoltaic/thermal system performance utilizing thin film and nanoparticle dispersion based optical filters“, Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 5, 033124, 2013.
- Otanicar, T., Hoyt, J., Maryam, F., Jiang, X., Taylor, R.A., “Experimental and numerical study on the optical properties and agglomeration of nanoparticle suspensions“ J. of Nanoparticle Research, 15 (11), 1-11, 2013
- Khullar, V., Tyagi, H., Phelan, P.E., Otanicar, T.P., Singh, H., Taylor, R.A. “Solar Energy Harvesting using Nanofluid-Based Solar Collector“, J. of Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine, 3, 3, 031003, pp. 1-9, 2013.
- Lv, W., Phelan, P.E., Swaminathan, R., Otanicar, T.P., Taylor, R.A., “Multifunctional core-shell nanoparticle suspensions for efficient absorption“, J. of Solar Energy Engineering, 135, 2, 021005, 2013.
- Taylor R.A., Coulombe, S., Otanicar, T.P., Phelan P.E., Gunawan, A., Lv W., Rosengarten, G., Prasher, R., and Tyagi H., "Small Particles, Big Impacts: A Review of the Diverse Applications of Nanofluids", J. of Applied Physics [invited, commissioned], 113, 2, 011301, 2013.
- Hewakuruppu, Y., Chen, C. Y., Timchenko, V., Jiang, X., & Taylor, R.A., “A plasmonic ’pump-probe’ method to study semi-transparent nanofluids“. Applied Optics, 52(24), 6041-6050, 2013.
Conference papers (accepted)
- Gu, X., Taylor, R.A., Rosengarten, G., “Optical Analysis of a New CPC-Based Solar Collector Designed for Hydrogen Production“, ASME 2013 Summer Heat Transfer Conference, Minneapolis, MN, USA (2013).
Conference papers (submitted)
- Hewakuruppu, Y., Taylor, R.A., “Limitations of direct solar absorption“, Australian Solar Conference Melbourne, Australia, (2014).
- Li, Q., Zheng, C., Gu, X., Rosengarten, G., Hawkes, E., Yang, M., Taylor, R.A., “Design and analysis of a low profile, concentration solar thermal collector“, Proceedings of the 15th International Heat Transfer Conference, Kyoto, Japan (2014).
- Gu, .X, Taylor, R. A., Li, Q., Yang, M., Rosengarten, G., “Thermal Analysis of a Novel Micro-Solar Collector for Methanol Reforming“, Proceedings of the 15th International Heat Transfer Conference, Kyoto, Japan (2014).