NECSO’s new prototype enables the ageing testing for selectives of concentrated solar power absorbers,

Concentrates Solar Power (CSP) technology based on parabolic trough solar collectors for large-scale electricity generation is currently one of the most mature CSP designs in terms of previous operation experience, scientific and technical research and development.

The stack of layers, used in solar absorber tubes is a combination of coatings with different compositions and thickness. The global performance depends on the nanometric properties of the entire stack. Some analysis have unveiled that during the working life, the solar absorber tubes suffer an ageing process, which reduces the global performance. NECSO, a European Commission project funded under the 7th Framework Programme, aims to design accelerated ageing protocols to test the evolution of the coatings during the entire receiver’s life.  

With these needs in mind, NECSO project (Nanoscale Enhanced Characterization of Solar selective coatings) is focused on the solar selectives behaviour, when they are affected by certain ageing conditions. NECSO consortium brings together industrial partners and research organizations from Spain, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Slovenia.

NECSO features some of these characterization methods and standard protocols and at the same time it defines an accelerated degradation protocol and real coatings ageing tests. Probably one of the main tools, which help to carry on with these research activities, has been a new prototype, which enables the ageing testing for solar selectives and identifies the improvement possibilities in terms of solar efficiency.

NECSO (March 2013–March 2016) is reaching the half-point with interesting milestones, such as the prototype set up. This innovative and unique system enables researchers and developers to choose better critical components and to increase the competitiveness in the sector.

This prototype has been led by TECNOVAC, one of the partners of NECSO consortium, dedicated to providing clients industrial vacuum technology worldwide with a huge commitment with research activities.

Some of the expected preliminary results will be shared in the 1st NECSO workshop, which will be held in autumn.

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