Degradation of unglazed rough graphite-aluminium solar absorber surfaces in simulated acid and neutral rain

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Degradation mechanisms of unglazed solar absorber surfaces based on aluminium substrate were studied. Rough graphite-aluminium surfaces were total-immersion subjected to aerated and de-aerated simulated neutral and acid rain. Test conditions were based on calculated absorber stagnation temperature and global rain acidity measurements. Changes in optical properties, elemental composition and sample mass were examined by spectrometry, energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry and thermogravimetry, respectively. The absorbers exhibited almost no degradation at pH value of 3.5. At pH 5.5 alumina on the surface hydrated significantly degrading the optical properties of the surfaces severely in most cases. Therefore these absorber surfaces can not be recommended to be used in non-glazed applications if they are exposed to rain with pH exceeding similar to3.5-4.5. The total-immersion test needs to be developed further as the test results exhibited poor temperature and time dependency thus preventing accurate service lifetime estimates. Still, these tests were useful in determining favourable and non-favourable operating conditions for the absorber surfaces based on aluminium substrate. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • acid rain, unglazed solar absorber, aluminium substrate, CORROSION, DURABILITY

ID: 3208519