Manufacturing Process Analysis for Simultaneous Synthesis and Deposition of Turbostratic Graphene on Absorbers in Solar Thermal Collector Applications
The absorber section is a critical component in solar thermal collectors and is responsible for converting electromagnetic radiation into sensible thermal energy. The optical properties of the surface of the absorber dictates the effectiveness of this conversion. In this work, a manufacturing process is designed to provide bulk surface treatment for solar absorber plates in order to enhance their radiative properties. The process utilizes a novel approach of graphene synthesis and simultaneous deposition via high pressure blasting of graphite. The results show enhanced spectral, thermal and electrochemical performance of the absorber due to the turbostratic nature of graphene adhesion to its surface, especially when three blasting passes are used. The absorptivity of the absorber exhibited a 7% increase when three passes were applied on its surface. Using graphene has also enhanced the corrosion resistance of the absorber plate. This manufacturing system will provide a facile yet effective treatment of absorbers with various degrees of automation. Applied as a final layer, the process can be retrofitted to existing manufacturing facilities with minimum overhead costs.