Feasibility Analysis of Nanostructured Planar Focusing Collectors for Concentrating Solar Power Applications

Qing Ding, Shama F. Barna, Kyle Jacobs, Aakash Choubal, Glennys Mensing, Zhong Zhang, Kaito Yamada, Nicholas Kincaid, Guangdong Zhu, Robert Tirawat, Tim Wendelin, L. Jay Guo, Placid Ferreira, Kimani C. Toussaint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus Citations


Concentrating solar power (CSP) technology is an attractive approach to harvesting solar energy. Unlike photovoltaic (PV) technology, thermal storage is used in lieu of batteries for electricity generation. However, the cost of current collection optics in a CSP plant hampers commercial competitiveness with PVs and natural gas. The use of a planar focusing collector (PFC) could help reduce cost of materials, installation, and maintenance. We present two candidate PFC designs, one based on metasurfaces and the other a Fresnel-like model. We feed each design through the entire system process (design, fabrication, scalability, and techno-economic feasibility) and discuss the challenges met at each stage. Two-photon and nanoimprint lithography are used to make PFC molds and replicas, respectively. We find that the annual optical efficiency for the Fresnel-based PFC is ∼40%, higher than the current 30% target for natural gas, thereby suggesting potential economic advantages in the market of industrial process heat.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6927-6935
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-75242


  • concentrating solar power (CSP)
  • metasurface
  • nanoimprint lithography
  • planar focusing collector (PFC)
  • two-photon lithography


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