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Symposium EN05-Advances in Materials for Concentrating Solar Thermal Technologies

Concentrating solar thermal (CST) technology is a rapidly increasing R&D topic due to its potential in renewable energy generation and decarbonisation of industrial processes. As a renewable source of electricity generation, concentrating solar power (CSP) uses heat to power a steam turbine or next-generation supercritical CO2 power block. It can also “charge” a thermal storage system for production of electricity off-sun at potentially greater scales and lower costs than traditional batteries. CST also has the potential to drive high temperature chemical processes for production of renewable hydrogen, fuels, or commodity chemicals, and to decarbonise energy intensive industrial processes such as water desalination, mineral purification, or biorefining.

Current CST facilities operate at a temperature range of 500–600°C, but next generation plants are aiming for temperatures of greater than 700°C for electricity generation and well above 1000°C for solar thermochemical processes. The high operating temperatures require material systems that can withstand heat and thermal expansion, are resistant to corrosion and degradation, and can efficiently conduct heat. Thermal storage materials (e.g., molten salts, metal hydrides) with improved thermal stability and storage capacity are required. Materials development is imperative for solar thermochemical reactions such as water splitting, chemical and fuel production, and industrial decarbonisation.

This symposium aims to further the discussion on materials for CST technologies and bring together researchers of diverse backgrounds (theoretical, computational, experimental, characterization, and analysis) to address the multidisciplinary challenges of this emerging field. Graduate students, post-docs, and early-career researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts. The symposium expects to draw participation and support from a national and international demographic from academia, national labs, and the commercial sector.

Topics will include:

  • High temperature materials discovery and development through computational models and AI/machine learning
  • Thermal and thermochemical energy storage materials (e.g. molten salts, metal hydrides/hydroxides)
  • Advanced in situ and ex situ materials screening and characterisation of materials, including performance, durability, reliability, and degradation
  • Materials for solar thermochemical production of hydrogen, fuel, and fine chemicals
  • Solar thermal methods and materials for decarbonisation of industrial processes (e.g. pyrolysis, gasification, desalination, sterilisation, bleaching)
  • Design and manufacture of materials for operation under extreme conditions (heat, pressure, corrosivity) for thermal storage, heat transfer, and power blocks (steam and supercritical CO2)
  • Advancements in coating materials and application methods for receivers, heliostats, and interior tube surfaces for heat transfer/storage transport
  • Theory, simulation, and modelling of thermomechanical, thermochemical, and thermo-optical properties of emerging materials

Invited Speakers:

  • Harish Barshilia (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research–National Aerospace Laboratory, India)
  • Yulong Ding (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom)
  • Malay Mazumder (Boston University, USA)
  • Christopher Muhich (Arizona State University, USA)
  • Cristina Prieto (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain)
  • Gema San Vicente (Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research, Spain)
  • Chris Sansom (University of Derby, United Kingdom)
  • Aldo Steinfeld (ETH Zürich, Switzerland)
  • Judith Vidal (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Adrianus Indrat Aria
Cranfield University
Surface Engineering and Precision Institute
United Kingdom

Andrea Ambrosini
Sandia National Laboratories
Concentrating Solar Technologies

Ramón Escobar Galindo
Universidad de Sevilla

Loreto Valenzuela Gutiérrez
Plataforma Solar de Almería
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , loreto.valenzuela@psa.es

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