Effect of pore size and porosity distribution on radiation absorption and thermal performance of porous solar energy absorber

  • Tao XieEmail author
  • KaiDi Xu
  • BoLun Yang
  • YaLing He


In this paper, experimental and numerical study were both conducted to investigate the effect of pore size and porosity distribution on radiation absorption and thermal performance of porous solar energy absorber. Ultraviolet-visible-near infrared (UV-Vis-NIR) spectrophotometer was used to measure the transmittance of porous media to reflect its radiation absorption capabilities. Numerical model was established based on the assumption of thermal nonequilibrium condition as well as using P1 model to consider the radiation heat transfer. The UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometer measurement showed that: (1) With smaller pore size, the spectral transmittance of the porous media would be lower and the solar radiation absorption would be better; (2) Among the materials with different pore size distributions, pore-size-decreased combo and pore-size-increased combo have almost equal absorption coefficient which are higher than that of uniform structure. Numerical simulation demonstrated that: (3) For materials with different pore size distributions, pore-size-decreased structure has the best radiation absorption due to its ability of maximizing the volumetric absorption effect, which is agreed with the UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometer experimental results; (4) For materials with different porosity distributions, porosity-gradually-increased structure has the highest mean fluid/solid temperatures because it can utilize the enhanced convective/conductive heat transfer to improve the overall thermal performance of porous receiver; (5) Porous structure with pore-size-decreased distribution and porosity-gradually-increased distribution has the best thermal performance of which the mean temperatures of fluid/solid phases are the highest among all the studied cases.


solar energy porous receiver thermal performance pore size distribution porosity distribution 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Industrial Catalysis, School of Chemical Engineering and TechnologyXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Thermo-Fluid Science and Engineering of Ministry of EducationXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

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