Advanced Optical Coatings

This laboratory line is devoted to the development and complete study of new selective coatings for absorbent materials used in solar concentrating systems at medium and high temperature (up to 600°C), as well as for anti-reflective treatments for glass covers used in some receiver designs, such as receiver tubes in parabolic-trough collectors. The equipment devoted to this activity line is sufficient to characterize and evaluate coating developments, and to evaluate the behaviour of other treatments available on the market or developed by other public or private institutions. The equipment associated to this line may be also used for optical characterization of solar reflectors, thus complementing the equipment specifically devoted to the activity line devoted to testing and characterization of solar reflectors
A summary of the equipment available for advanced optical coatings is given below:

  • Perkin Elmer LAMBDA 950 Spectrophotometer (Figure a).
  • Perkin-Elmer Frontier FTIR spectrophotometer equipped with a gold-coated integrated sphere manufactured by Pike (Figure b)
  • Portable Optosol absorber characterization equipment: This equipment measures solar absorptance and thermal emittance of selective absorbers at 70°C, both on flat substrates and absorber tubes. The device for measuring absorptance has an integrating sphere with two detectors (Figure c). For measuring emissivity, it has a semi-cylindrical tunnel which emits infrared radiation at 70°C (Figure e).
  • QUV weathering chamber, Q-PANEL, for accelerated ageing tests (Figure d).
  • BROOKFIELD LVDV-I+ Viscometer.
  • KSV CAM200 goniometer for measuring contact angles (Figure f).
  • Kilns. There are three kilns for thermal treatment:
  • 120x100x300 mm kiln with a maximal temperature of 1200°C.
  • Controlled atmosphere kiln with a maximal temperature of 800°C.
  • 500x400x600 mm forced convection kiln with a maximal temperature of 550ºC.
Advanced optical coatings laboratories equipment.