Vascular Carbon/Carbon Composites for Concentrated Solar Power

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Due to their exceptional mechanical and thermal properties under high temperature conditions, for the first time, a novel vascular (embedded channels) Carbon/Carbon (C/C) composite was developed for use as a modular concentrated solar power (CSP) gas receiver. The fabrication process involves the combination of the vaporization of sacrificial component (VaSC) technique with conventional methods to produce C/C composites with well preserved channels. Different heat treatments were evaluated together with X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis to determine optimal fabrication conditions that maintains the material and channel’s integrity. Mechanical testing confirms that structural integrity is maintained, with statistical analyses indicating no compromise in flexural strength or modulus. This research introduces an innovative pathway for efficient CSP gas receivers, which can bridge the gap towards improved energy generation efficiency in next-gen CSP plants through higher operating temperatures with the use of C/C composites.