New fractal design will increase the efficiency of solar power plants by 20%

Engineers from the US Sandia National Laboratories have designed an unusual version of the energy receiver for power plants, in which sunlight is concentrated by mirrors at one point. This will allow absorbing almost all radiation and significantly increase the efficiency of the installation.

In a typical solar power plant without photovoltaic panels, heliostatic mirrors focus the "sunbeams" on a compartment with pipes through which the solution flows. In this case, the light hits a flat surface at a certain angle and is partially reflected, flying away without any benefit. This is especially offensive, because we are no longer talking about ordinary sunlight, but about powerful, focused radiation that carries a lot of energy.

In the new design of the heat exchanger, the reflection of light is put in the first place, only now it will go deep into the installation, whose architecture was designed using fractal principles. Nothing just disappears - the experimental model has shown an increase in light absorption by 20% compared to flat surfaces.

Since in this case solar energy is distributed between individual sections of the heat sink, and is not focused strictly at one point, they can be made less durable and resistant to heat. That is, it is cheaper, including printing on a 3D printer made of Inconel 718 nickel alloy. This will make small solar stations, with a capacity of 1-10 MW, much more affordable for consumers.