Investigations into nanofluids as direct solar radiation collectors

B.A.J. Rose, H. Singh, N. Verma, S. Tassou, S. Suresh, N. Anantharaman, D Mariotti, P Maguire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
143 Downloads (Pure)


Nanofluids that directly absorb solar radiation have been proposed as an alternative to selectively coated metallic receivers in solar thermal collectors. Given the expense of characterising a potential nanofluid experimentally methods for comparing nanofluids virtually are needed. This paper develops a computational wave optics model using COMSOL to simulate the absorption of nanoparticles suspended in a fluid for solar radiation (380–800 nm) and compares it to experimental results using reflectance and transmission spectrometry. It was concluded that while both yielded data with matching trends, the exact absorption of some fluids differed by up to 1 AU. Optical characteristics of nanofluids comprising ethylene glycol (melting point −12.99 °C and boiling point range 195–198 °C at 1013 h Pa) and graphene oxide (sheets size 5 nm × 19 nm × 19 nm, volume fraction 0.004–0.016%) have been experimentally measured. An optimum volume fraction of 0.012% of graphene oxide has been identified achieving a minimum reflectance and highest absorbance over the visible spectral range.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426 - 431
JournalSolar Energy
Early online date29 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 May 2017


  • Wave optics model


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