Solar thermal plants use mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto receivers.
The receivers absorb the light and can reach temperatures of 800degC. This heat can used to run turbines for electricity production, or to provide heat for industrial processes. Reflection and re-radiation of light from the receiver is a major loss mechanism for these systems. We are interested in using photonic approaches (using nano-structures and coatings) to reduce these losses and increase the efficiency of solar energy. This will be a largely calculation based project, using simulation software and simple analytical models.