Microtech2010 2010

Improving CPV Performance and Reliability with a Nano-Engineered Thermal Management Material

N. Jiang, R. Fink, J.P. Novak, Y. Li
Applied Nanotech, Inc., US

Keywords: CPV, photovoltaics, thermal management, carbon


Concentrated Photovoltaics (CPV) technology relies particularly on these areas: high efficiency cells, optics, sun tracking, and thermal management. While many issues and technical impasses regarding cells, optics and tracking have been solved, higher performance thermal management solutions are still being sought after, due to the high temperatures generated when hundreds of suns are focused onto a small area. Better thermal management materials are needed such that reliability, efficiency and lifetime of CPV technology can be improved. A unique nano-engineered low cost carbon-aluminum composite, CarbAlâ„¢ heat transfer material that offers exceptional thermal and mechanical properties that can advance CPV technologies has been developed. The carbon-aluminum interfaces of the composite material are nano-engineered to promote efficient phonon coupling.Furthermore, stacks of aligned nanographitic plates are formed and oriented in a controlled high temperature extrusion process to intentionally promote efficient thermal conductivity in preferential directions.
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