Low-e glass technology represents a commercially viable option for this sector, but it has only been optimized for visible light transmission. Optically thin metal hole-arrays are another feasible solution, but are often difficult to fabricate. This study investigates combinations of thin film coatings of transparent conductive oxides and nanoparticles as a potential low cost solution for selective solar covers. This paper experimentally compares readily available materials deposited on various substrates and ranks them via an ‘efficiency factor for selectivity’, which represents the efficiency of radiative exchange in a solar collector. Out of the materials studied, indium tin oxide and thin films of ZnS-Ag-ZnS represent the most feasible solutions for concentrated solar systems. Overall, this study provides an engineering design approach and guide for creating scalable, selective, transparent optics which could potentially be imbedded within conventional low-e glass production techniques.
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Robert A. Taylor, Yasitha Hewakuruppu, Drew DeJarnette, Todd P. Otanicar, "Fabrication and comparison of selective, transparent optics for concentrating solar systems," Proc. SPIE 9559, High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Energy Applications X, 955905 (5 September 2015);