International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.44, No.5, 3687-3696, 2020
Solar vapor generation optimization of a carbon-black/wood-flour system with strength enhanced by polystyrene
A solar vapor generation system with a high evaporation efficiency and also a high mechanical strength is still attractive, while most previous works only focused on efficiency. Herein, we firstly prepared a carbon-black/wood-flour system with strength enhanced by polystyrene. Then, we investigated the effects of porosity, polystyrene content, and thermal insulation on the evaporation performance of the system. Experimental results indicate that the porosity of system can significantly affect the evaporation efficiency. With the increase of porosity, there exists an optimal porosity to obtain a high evaporation efficiency. A higher content of polystyrene, which could cause a lower thermal conductivity of the system, always gives a higher evaporation efficiency when the porosity is fixed. For polystyrene content of 60 wt% and system porosity of 36%, under a 1-sun irradiation, there is an optimal evaporation efficiency of about 80.4%. Additionally, the fracture stresses of the system in dry and wet states could be as high as 2.18 and 2.03 MPa, respectively, which ensures the system strength. Considering the high efficiency, high mechanical strength, low cost, and easy preparation, this system has a good potential to be used in practical applications.