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Localized Solar Collectors

United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A localized heating structure includes a spectrally-selective solar absorber, that absorbs incident solar radiation and reflects at wavelengths longer than 2 .mu.m, with an underlying heat-spreading layer having a thermal conductivity equal to or greater than 50 W/(mK), a thermally insulating layer, adjacent to the spectrally-selective solar absorber, having a thermal conductivity of less than 0.1 W/(mK), one or more evaporation openings through the spectrally-selective solar absorber and the thermally insulating layer, and an evaporation wick, disposed in one or more of the evaporation openings in the thermally insulating layer, that contacts liquid and allows the liquid to be transported from a location beneath the thermally insulating layer through to the spectrally-selective solar absorber in order to generate vapor from the liquid. The thermally insulating layer is configured to have a density less than the liquid so that the localized heating structure is able to float on the liquid.
Ni, George (Ann Arbor, MI), Chen, Gang (Carlisle, MA), Boriskina, Svetlana V. (Winchester, MA), Cooper, Thomas Alan (Boston, MA)
15/ 283,914
October 3, 2016
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT [0002] This invention was made with Government support under Contract Nos. DE-SC0001299 and DE-FG02-09ER46577 awarded by the Department of Energy and under Contract No. FA9550-11-1-0174 awarded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The Government has certain rights in the invention.