Absorption to reflection transition in selective solar coatings

Kyle D. Olson, Joseph J. Talghader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The optimum transition wavelength between high absorption and low emissivity for selective solar absorbers has been calculated in several prior treatises for an ideal system, where the emissivity is exactly zero in the infrared. However, no real coating can achieve such a low emissivity across the entire infrared with simultaneously high absorption in the visible. An emissivity of even a few percent radically changes the optimum wavelength separating the high and low absorption spectral bands. This behavior is described and calculated for AM0 and AM1.5 solar spectra with an infrared emissivity varying between 0 and 5%. With an emissivity of 5%, solar concentration of 10 times the AM1.5 spectrum the optimum transition wavelength is found to be 1.28μm and have a 957K equilibrium temperature. To demonstrate typical absorptions in optimized solar selective coatings, a four-layer sputtered Mo and SiO2coating with absorption of 5% across the infrared is described experimentally and theoretically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A554-A559
JournalOptics Express
Issue number104
StatePublished - Jul 2 2012


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