Solar Energy

There are three different ways to harness the solar energy: low temperature collection, concentrating solar power and photo-voltaic systems.  Low temperature systems typically use a flat-plate collector to heat water.  Nickel-containing stainless steels may be used for the collector and associated pipes.  They can have a selective surface applied which absorbs the solar radiation very effectively but does not re-radiate much energy at the temperature of the collector.

An array of mirrors can be used to concentrate the solar radiation onto receivers where the temperature can reach 500°C.  The heat is taken away by molten salts in heat and corrosion resistant stainless steel tubing. Stainless steel tanks containing molten salts are also used to store the heat.

Photo-voltaic (PV) systems generate electricity directly and may use stainless steel for the frames of the panels.

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