College of Engineering, Design and Physical Science,
Brunel University London, UKL
Concentrating solar technologies for building and horticulture sectors
Directly absorbing (visible to NIR) nanofluids can replace selectively coated metallic receivers in conventional Solar Thermal Concentrators (STC) enabling the development of a completely new class of solar collectors. Integrated with innovative and optimally designed optical concentrators STCs can achieve an annual optical efficiency of >70%. Use of directly absorbing nanofluids, in theory, will reduce any conductive and radiative loss by up to 75-80% with STCs easily achieving >60% annual thermal conversion efficiency. This once achieved, will unlock opportunities for the STCs in delivering heat for achieving 100% zero carbon cooling energy for horticultural cold storage systems. One concomitant benefit will be a complete displacement of polluting refrigerants. The talk will shine light on the current scientific/technological challenges facing the directly absorbing STCs and the recent progress achieved by Dr Singh’s research team. Particularly, the monitored performance of several systems installed at global locations as part of several ongoing funded research projects will be presented.
Dr Singh received his BEng, and MEng (IIT Roorkee, India) with specialization in Mechanical and Thermal Engineering disciplines and PhD (University of Ulster, UK) in experimental evaluation of natural convective heat transfer in CPC solar collector cavities in 2008. He joined Brunel University London in 2011 as Lecturer where has been a Senior Lecturer in Built Environment and Energy Engineering since 2016. His research focusses onto solar energy technologies, vacuum insulation panels and building retrofit for improved energy efficiency with over £25 million research funding and >65 peer reviewed publications in the area. He has received research funding as PI or CoI, from EPSRC, Newton Fund; UKRI, Horizon2020; Innovate UK, DST-UKIERI and several international industrial funders based in USA and Germany. He was consultant to Sure Chill Company (UK) on developing passive energy vaccine storage devices funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was the Chair of the SOLARIS 2017 edition. He will be Chairing the 15th edition of the International Vacuum Insulation Symposium (IVIS) in London during 11-12 April 2022. Currently, his research team at Brunel includes 4 PDRAs, 1 PGRA, 2 technicians and 7 PhD students (4 first- supervised).