Recently, the project group led by Professor Sun Lidong of the School of Material Science and Engineering of Chongqing University has seen important progress in the functionalization application of titanium tubes. The project group developed the integrated device for photoelectric-photo-thermal energy conversion based on titanium tube for the first time (shown in Fig.1). This achievement was published on line by Nano Energy on November 2, 2018 under the title “A Solar Tube: Efficiently Converting Sunlight into Electricity and Heat”.
Solar battery is a kind of device that converts solar energy directly into electric power. In particular, the theoretical conversion efficiency of a single pn-junction battery is about 31% (Shockley-Queisser limit). However, the utilization rate of solar irradiation spectrum by this kind of batteries is generally below 50% (mainly in the ultraviolet and visible light area). As a result, the theoretical utilization rate of total energy of solar irradiation by a single device is below 15%, with most of the energy dissipated in the form of heat. Considering this fact, developing a highly integrated one-piece device that is able to collect and further utilize the dissipated heat in the process of photoelectric conversion became one of the effective ways to improve the overall utilization rate of solar energy. The project group led by Professor Sun Lidong used the titanium tube and surface nano-tube coating to develop the “solar tube” that is capable of photoelectric and photo-thermal conversion, and is able to achieve a total energy efficiency of about 25.2%. This achievement has provided new ideas on high-efficiency utilization of solar power.
The related research has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation, Support Program for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of Returned Overseas Students of Chongqing, Operating Funds for Basic Scientific Research in Colleges and Universities Allocated by the Central Government and State Key Lab of Mechanical Transmission, Chongqing University. Xiang Chengjie, a doctoral candidate from the School of Material Science and Engineering of Chongqing University, is the first author of the paper. Professor Sun Lidong of Chongqing University and Professor Zhang Shanyong of Southwest University are corresponding co-authors.
Fig.1 Schematic Diagram of the Integrated Device for Photoelectric-Photo-thermal Energy Conversion
Link of the paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211285518308048