Solar Energy Laboratory

Research > Projects

Thermotropic polymers for solar applications

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Overheat protection for glazed collectors using commodity polymer materials is essential for long-term durability. Polymeric materials, while providing a low cost approach to solar collectors, will degrade when the temperature exceeds the maximum service temperature. In this project, we are developing thermotropic polymers that change from transparent to opaque as the temperature of a polymeric solar absorber approaches the material service temperature. The desired transmittance, reflectance and absorptance are achieved by tuning the volumetric scattering and interface properties.