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Internally-Heated Thermal and Externally-Cool Photovoltaic Cascade Solar Energy System for Full Solar Spectrum Utilization

United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A single-stack, solar power receiver comprising both a thermal absorber layer and a photovoltaic cell layer. The stack includes an aerogel layer, that is optically transparent and thermally insulating ("OTTI"); a spectrally selective high thermal conductivity ("SSTC") thermal absorber layer; a bottom OTTI layer; and a PV cell layer. The SSTC layer includes a set of fins that substantially blocks solar radiation absorption in the band where PV cells are most sensitive. Photons with energies above or below this band block range are absorbed by the fins and the absorbed heat is conducted to pipes in the fin structure carrying a heated thermal working fluid to heat storage. Photons with energy in the band block range are reflected by the SSTC fins to the PV cell layer. The bottom OTTI aerogel layer keeps the PV cell operating near ambient temperature. The PV cell converts incident solar radiation to electrical energy.
Chen, Gang (Carlisle, MA), Wang, Evelyn N. (Cambridge, MA), Boriskina, Svetlana V. (Winchester, MA), McEnaney, Kenneth (Cornish, NH), Ghasemi, Hadi (Boston, MA), Yerci, Selcuk (Brighton, MA), Lenert, Andrej (Cambridge, MA), Yang, Sungwoo (Somerville, MA), Miljkovic, Nenad (Cambridge, MA), Weinstein, Lee A. (Somerville, MA), Bierman, David (Cambridge, MA)
14/ 464,103
August 20, 2014
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT [0002] This invention was made with Government support under Grant Nos. DE-SC0001299, DE-FG02-09ER46577, and DE-EE0005320 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.