The conventional solar collector technology is inefficient in northern regions, because standard solar collectors are not sufficient protected from thermal leaks into cold, rainy, and snowy environment. Researchers at Høgskolen på Vestlandet have developed a novel direct absorption solar collector with a specially designed nanofluid, also developed at HVL, to respond to this challenge.
Instead of using a black-body receiver of solar heat, the new collector harvests the light directly by its heat transfer fluid containing dispersed nanoparticles. The volumetric absorption of solar heat reduces the thermal loss. It increases the efficiency of the collector by 10-20% relative to the standard solar collectors.
Throughout the project, an extensive field trial has been carried out on a scaled prototype with the specially designed nanofluid. The prototype was installed at HVL energy field and data was collected from the prototype in realistic weather conditions.
Througout the project two prototypes were built, installed and tested with different nanofluids. These tests have given very valuable results that will be further analyzed during the next months. With the knowledge obtained so far and the final analysis from the results, a full verification project will be initiated. We have interested partners that want to collaborate on a full verification project and will land the collaboration agreement as soon as the analysis has been performed.
The market for renewable energies is currently booming due to the energy situation. Norway is experiencing a massive increase (3-6x) in cost of energy (electricity) and this gives lower return on investment for renewable installations such as solar energy. The DASC-NF technology can produce hot water for 8/12 months and indoor heating for 6/12 months and even though the installation comes with a cost, it is significantly more viable today than only a year ago when the project started.