Encapsulated Nanoparticle Synthesis and Characterization for Improved Storage Fluids: Preprint

Gregory Glatzmaier

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Nanoparticles are typically composed of 50--500 atoms and exhibit properties that are significantly different from the properties of larger, macroscale particles that have the same composition. The addition of these particles to traditional fluids may improve the fluids' thermophysical properties. As an example, the addition of a nanoparticle or set of nanoparticles to a storage fluid may doubleits heat capacity. This increase in heat capacity would allow a sensible thermal energy storage system to store the same amount of thermal energy in half the amount of storage fluid. The benefit is lower costs for the storage fluid and the storage tanks, resulting in lower-cost electricity. The goal of this long-term research is to create a new class of fluids that enable concentrating solarpower plants to operate with greater efficiency and lower electricity costs. Initial research on this topic developed molecular dynamic models that predicted the energy states and transition temperatures for these particles. Recent research has extended the modeling work, along with initiating the synthesis and characterization of bare metal nanoparticles and metal nanoparticles that areencapsulated with inert silica coatings. These particles possess properties that make them excellent candidates for enhancing the heat capacity of storage fluids.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2010
EventSolarPACES 2010 - Perpignan, France
Duration: 21 Sep 201024 Sep 2010


ConferenceSolarPACES 2010
CityPerpignan, France

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-49362


  • chemical synthesis
  • heat capacity
  • molecular dynamics modeling
  • nanoclusters
  • nanofluids


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