Highly porous copper foam coated with graphene flakes and silver nanowires to cool overheated solar air heaters

Chanwoo Park, Kwangjin Jang, Yongil Kim, Bhavana Joshi, Ali Aldalbahi, Mohamed El-Newehy, Yong Tae Kang, Sam S. Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Solar air heaters (SAHs) transfer radiative heat to the air flowing under irradiated panels. However, excessive heating can induce thermal stresses and cause malfunctioning of solar devices. Thus, a method to cool the panels is essential. We developed a highly effective method for cooling an overheated solar collector panel by increasing the surface area using a highly porous metal foam supersonically sprayed with graphene flakes (G) and silver nanowires (AgNWs). Notably, convective cooling via the textured surface only reduced the surface temperature without affecting the total amount of solar heat collected at the radiated side. The effect of G/AgNW texturing and the highly porous metal foam on cooling was assessed. The best G/AgNW-coated foam afforded a temperature reduction of ΔT = 18 °C and a 25.3% increase in heff compared with the bare case. In addition, G/AgNW texturing significantly increased the amount of solar heat collected, with a temperature increase of ΔT = 81 °C, because the G/AgNW surface promoted the trapping of radiative heat waves, similar to the perfect black body of a Helmholtz jar. Therefore, augmentation with a G/AgNW layer is recommended for both the solar heat collecting and convective cooling sides of an SAH panel.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106691
JournalInternational Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government NRF-2020R1A5A1018153 , NRF-2021R1A2C2010530 , and 2022M3J1A106422611 . The authors acknowledge King Saud University , Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for funding this work through Researchers Supporting Project number ( RSP2023R30 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Graphene flakes
  • Radiative heat transfer
  • Silver nanowires
  • Solar air heater
  • Supersonic spraying

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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