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Tag: Coatings
  • Influence of Chemical Coatings on Solar Panel Performance Snow Accumulation

    Abstract: Solar panel performance can be impacted when panel surfaces are coated with substances like dust, dirt, snow, or ice that scatter and/or absorb light and may reduce efficiency. As a consequence, time and resources are required to clean solar panels during and after extreme weather events or whenever surface coating occurs. Treating solar panels with chemical coatings that shed materials may decrease the operating costs associated with solar panel maintenance and cleaning. This study investigates three commercial coatings for use as self-cleaning glass technologies. Optical and thermal properties (reflectivity, absorption, and transmission) are investigated for each coating as well as their surface wettability and particle size. Incoming solar radiation was continuously monitored and snow events were logged to estimate power production capabilities and surface accumulation for each panel. In terms of power output, the commercial coatings made little impact on overall power production compared to the control (uncoated) panels. This was attributable to the overall high transmission, low absorption, and low reflection of each of the commercial coatings, making their presence on the surface of solar panels have minimal impact besides to potentially shed snow While the coatings made no observable difference to increase power production compared to the control panels, the shedding results from video monitoring suggest both the hydrophilic or hydrophobic test coatings decreased snow accumulation to a greater extent than the control panels (uncoated). Controlling the wettability properties of the solar panel surfaces has the potential to limit snow accumulation when compared to uncoated panel surfaces.
  • Performance of Active Porcelain Enamel Coated Fibers for Fiber-Reinforced Concrete: The Performance of Active Porcelain Enamel Coatings for Fiber-Reinforced Concrete and Fiber Tests at the University of Louisville

    Abstract: A patented active porcelain enamel coating improves both the bond between the concrete and steel reinforcement as well as its corrosion resistance. A Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to develop a commercial method for production of porcelain-coated fibers was developed in 2015. Market potential of this technology with its steel/concrete bond improvements and corrosion protection suggests that it can compete with other fiber reinforcing systems, with improvements in performance, durability, and cost, especially as compared to smooth fibers incorporated into concrete slabs and beams. Preliminary testing in a Phase 1 SBIR investigation indicated that active ceramic coatings on small diameter wire significantly improved the bond between the wires and the concrete to the point that the wires achieved yield before pullout without affecting the strength of the wire. As part of an SBIR Phase 2 effort, the University of Louisville under contract for Ceramics, Composites and Coatings Inc., proposed an investigation to evaluate active enamel-coated steel fibers in typical concrete applications and in masonry grouts in both tension and compression. Evaluation of the effect of the incorporation of coated fibers into Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) was examined using flexural and compressive strength testing as well as through nanoindentation.