Experimental investigation of a silver nanoparticle-based direct absorption solar thermal system

Enio Pedone Bandarra Filho, Oscar Saúl Hernandez Mendoza, Carolina Lau Lins Beicker, Adonis Menezes, Dongsheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


A nanoparticle-based direct absorption system provides a promising alternative to conventional solar collectors. This work investigates experimentally the photothermal conversion characteristics of one of the plasmonic nanoparticles, i.e., silver, under realistic conditions. Stable silver nanofluids are formulated through a high-pressure homogenizer and the experiments are conducted under sunlight on a rooftop with tests running continuously for ∼10 h. The results show that silver particles have excellent photothermal conversion capability even under very low concentrations. Up to 144% enhancement in the stored thermal energy can be obtained at the peak temperature for a particle concentration of 6.5 ppm. The photothermal conversion performance shows a transient behavior and is best achieved at the initial radiation period due to the low heat loss and strong surface plasmon resonance effect of silver nanofluids. Nearly constant initial specific absorption rate (SAR), ∼0.6 kW/g, is obtained for nanoparticle concentrations up to 6.5 ppm, but it decreases significantly at higher concentrations, which is associated with increased particle-particle interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Direct absorption
  • Nanofluids
  • Photothermal conversion
  • Silver nanoparticle
  • Solar thermal system
  • Specific absorption rate


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