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Research Papers

Concentrated Solar Energy to Study High Temperature Materials for Space and Energy

[+] Author and Article Information
Ludovic Charpentier, Kamel Dawi, Julien Eck, Baptiste Pierrat, Jean-Louis Sans, Marianne Balat-Pichelin

Laboratoire Procédés, Matériaux et Energie Solaire, PROMES-CNRS, 7 rue du four solaire, 66120 Font-Romeu Odeillo, Francemarianne.balat@promes.cnrs.fr

J. Sol. Energy Eng 133(3), 031005 (Jul 25, 2011) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004241 History: Received January 11, 2011; Accepted May 03, 2011; Published July 25, 2011; Online July 25, 2011

In this paper, the concentrated solar energy is used as a source of high temperatures to study the physical and chemical behaviors and intrinsic properties of refractory materials. The atmospheres surrounding the materials have to be simulated in experimental reactors to characterize the materials in real environments. Several application fields are concerned such as the aerospace and the energy fields: examples of results will be given for the heat shield of the Solar Probe Plus mission (NASA) for the SiC/SiC material that can be used as cladding materials for next nuclear reactor (gas-cooled fast reactor—GFR, Generation IV) and for new advanced materials for solar absorbers in concentration solar power (CSP) plant. Two different facilities—REHPTS and MEDIASE—implemented at the focus of two different solar furnaces of the PROMES-CNRS laboratory—5 kW and 1 MW—are presented together with some experimental results on the behavior of high temperature materials.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

MEDIASE set-up at the focus of the 1 MW solar furnace of Odeillo: top, left—view of the coupled aggressions on the sample; top, right—configuration for thermoradiative properties measurement; down—scheme of the facility with (1) hemispherical glass window, (2) cooled sample-holder, (3) sample, (4) optical fiber, (5) three-mirrors goniometer for emissivity measurement (absent when ion and VUV sources are working), (6) quartz crystal microbalance, (7) viewport, (8) pryro-reflectometer, (9) mass spectrometer or radiometer for emissivity measurement, and (10) to (12) available positions for ion and VUV sources

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Figure 2

Mass spectra of the GPoly (a) and SEPH C/C composite (b) at 2100 K with and without VUV irradiation

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Figure 3

Raman spectra of the GPoly (a) and SEPH C/C composite (b) before (continuous line) and after test at high temperature only (dots) or high temperature and VUV irradiation (dashed line)

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Figure 4

Evolution of the α/ɛ ratio for the GPoly and SEPG C/C composite versus temperature for the samples treated under high temperature (HT) only and under high temperature and VUV irradiation (HT+VUV)

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Figure 5

REHPTS facility at the focus of the 5 kW solar furnace of Odeillo

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Figure 6

Mass loss rates of oxidized β-SiC versus temperature under active conditions for different pO2 (left) and SEM images of a β-SiC sample under nominal (up) and accidental (down) conditions (right)

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Figure 7

SEM micrographs of the reference sample ZrC-20%MoSi2 (a), and after oxidation under air at 1800 K (b), 2000 K (c), and 2400 K (d)

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Figure 8

XRD patterns of the ZrC-MoSi2 sample before (as-received EDM) and after oxidation in air at 2000 K

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Figure 9

Images of the samples taken from a video during the oxidation under air after about 15 min of experiment, (a) ZrC at 2000 K, (b) ZrC at 2300 K, and (c) SiC at 2000 K

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Figure 10

CO2 quantity measured by mass spectrometry as a function of the oxidation time for experiments under air (the units of CO2 quantity are arbitrary)

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