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High Entropy Alloy for Concentrated Solar Power

ENGS 24: Materials Science

January 2018

Objectives: Research the energy conversion efficiency of a newly developed high entropy alloy for concentrated solar applications.


  • Scanning Electron Microscope

  • Spectroscopy and Spectrophotometry


High entropy alloy (Fe30Ni20Mn35Al15 doped with 6% Cr) applied here: 

Context: Concentrated Solar Power systems (CSPs) collect and store solar energy with simple and scalable technology. CSPs use an array of mirrors to focus sunlight onto a central body where a working fluid (molten salt) heats up to over 800 degrees. Heat energy is easily stored for hours or days before conversion for use.

Our work: Test whether the new high entropy alloy Fe30Ni20Mn35Al15 doped with 6% Cr can improve CSP's conversion efficiency from 40% to greater than 90%.


Blank samples were annealed to simulate oxidized working conditions and improve performance.

Before Oxidation: Smooth

After Oxidation: Roughing


I used MATLAB to process and analyze raw spectrophotometry data. I used these equations for absorption:                                    and emmittance:

Figures: (left) Spectrophotemetry Data of the new sample, measuring percent of solar energy absorbed. (right) FTIR Data of the new sample, measuring potential for black body radiation (we seek to maximize heat conducted to working fluid). 

Final Net Efficiency: 89%

My work and results acknowledged and published in:
E. Lee, K. Kekalo, C. Xu, X. Wang, J. Liu, "MnFe2O4 and MnO2 nanoparticle-based high-temperature, air-stable, long-term antioxidation cermet solar selective absorbers," to appear in the Proceedings of SPIE Optics and Photonics 2018: Nanoscience and Engineering, August 2018

The Application.

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