U.S. Department of Energy

Predictive Physico-Chemical Modeling of Intrinsic Degradation Mechanisms for Advanced Reflector Materials

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An idealized reflector assembly; the absorption, transport and oxidation kinetic factors used in the proposed model differ in each layer. A flexible input in terms of layer properties allow the community to easily specify a proprietary configuration.

NREL, under the Physics of Reliability: Evaluating Design Insights for Component Technologies in Solar (PREDICTS) Program will be developing a physics-based computational degradation model to assess the kinetic oxidation rates; realistic model light attenuation and transport; and multi-layer treatment with variable properties Simulation based experimental design.

Approach

They will use simulation to define observables that distinguish between candidate physical mechanisms and reduce necessary measurements to device-independent localized characteristics. They will also do accelerated testing to validate simulation and use predictive tools to assess modification impacts on longevity and provide bounds on conditions necessary for target lifetime. In addition, NRL will deploy a tool for incorporating operational conditions, material properties and device geometry into lifetime performance/cost models.

Innovation

Lifecycle assessment is limited by insufficient understanding of degradation to accurately predict long term performance. Current measurement methods do not elucidate mechanisms for degraded performance. NREL is developing tools for assessing operational conditions on life-time performance with broad community support

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