New Materials for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants
Mentor: Pedro Poza
Phone: (+34) 914 887 179
University: Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Partner Host Institution: IMDEA Energy - High Temperature Processes Unit - Dr. Manuel Romero, Research Professor & Deputy Director ( and Dr. José González, Senior Researcher & Head of Unit (
CENER - Solar Thermal Energy Department
Keywords: Concentrated Solar Power plants (CSP), coatings, corrosion, tribology, fatigue, thermal spray

New Materials for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants components should work in extreme conditions, from the functional and structural points of view. The central receiver is an example where it is necessary to modify the surface of the metallic component with solar selective absorber coatings. From the functional point of view, both high solar absorptance (a) and low thermal emittance (b) are required in these coatings to convert sunlight to thermal electric power.

From the structural point of view, these coatings should be able to withstand chemical degradation at high temperature in an aggressive environment. Coating adhesion should be guaranteed during service, to assure the structural integrity of the component. The central receiver operating conditions will also include thermal fatigue, due to daily shut-down cycles and temperature variations by cloudiness, wear and erosion. However, the solutions used nowadays degraded during service at high temperature and the functional properties are not optimal. In fact, this limitation in the coatings used in the central receiver is one of the most important drawbacks for the development of the new generation of CSP plants. On the other hand, several components used in CSP should operate under aggressive conditions, which include corrosion, erosion and contact wear. The use of protective coatings could extend the life of these components during service. For these reasons, it is necessary to explore new coatings, able to provide better functionality and durability to the new CSP plants. This is precisely the project that will be developed by the researcher hired by this program.
The research group DIMME has a solid experience in the development of new coatings with industrial applications. In particular, DIMME has participated in several projects to improve the performance of coatings to be used in CSP plants. The research group has the experience, and the equipment, which are necessary to process and characterize the mechanical integrity of new coatings for the new CSP plants.
This research project will be carried on in collaboration with the Solar Thermal Energy Department, from The National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain (CEntro Nacional de Energías Renovables, CENER), and with the Unit of High-Temperature Processes, from IMDEA-ENERGY. These research centres, with a solid experience in the design of new CSP devices, will provide the technological point of view to develop new materials for CSP. In addition, these centres will be able to characterize the functional performance of coatings for the central receiver in terms of their capacity to absorb sunlight.

Departament: Energy and Chemical Technology, Environmental and Chemical Technology, Mechanical Technology, Analytical Chemistry
Research Group: Durability and Mechanical Integrity of Structural Materials
More Information:
Relevants projects on the area: Concentrated solar thermal energy for the electricity sector, transportation and heat production. ("Alta Concentracion Energía Solar", ACES2030-CM). FUNDNG PROGRAM: Madrid Local Government Ref.: P2018/EMT4319.
Relevants publications on the area: 1.- F. Sevillano, P. Poza, C.J. Múnez, S. Vezzù, S. Rech, A. Trentin. “Cold-Sprayed Ni-Al2O3 coatings for applications in power generation industry”, J. Therm. Spray Technol. 22 (5), 772-782, (2013).
2.- A. Rico, A. Salazar, M.E. Escobar, J. Rodriguez, P. Poza. “Optimization of atmospheric low-power plasma spraying process parameters of Al2O3-50wt%Cr2O3 coatings”, Surf. Coat. Technol. 354,pp. 281–296 (2018).