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High Performance Vacuum Flat Plate Solar Thermal Collectors for Hot Water and Process Heat

 

The aim of the proposed research is to provide the necessary knowledge to allow the development of a pre-prototype High Performance Vacuum Flat Plate Solar Thermal Collector with minimal materials content. The development of a thin evacuated solar collector offers new and exciting prospects for integrating solar collectors into building designs and for their use in medium temperature (100-200 Celsius) applications such as air conditioning or low temperature process heat. The research planned will develop technology for the effective utilisation of the solar energy resource and fits within EPSRC's Energy theme. Solar thermal energy is predicted to be a significant growth market with the potential to make a significant contribution to reducing fossil fuel use in the building energy sector. The research is targeted at providing new knowledge and techniques that will enable the advances in technology necessary for a step change in solar thermal collector performance to be realised and a range of new products and application areas developed. Such new products will encourage inward investment and lead to the creation of new companies that can contribute significantly to the transition to a low carbon society whilst maintaining and improving quality of life.