Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technologies harvest direct solar irradiation, concentrate it with mirrors and convert it into heat thanks to a solar receiver ran by a heat transfer fluid. This heat can be further converted into electricity via a thermodynamical cycle. On one hand, the receiver materials must be able to withstand extreme conditions during 25 to 30 years of operation, including concentrated solar flux, high temperatures (200 –1000°C) in vacuum or air, thermal cycling, thermal shocks, etc. On the other hand, they must possess suitable optical properties. High absorptance α in the solar region (0.3 – 2.5 μm) is mandatory to maximize the amount of absorbed solar energy. Ideally, low infrared thermal emittance ε is also sought for, to limit radiative thermal losses which increase strongly with temperature (Stefan-Boltzmann’s law σT4). If these two properties are met, the material is said to be spectrally selective. At mid-temperatures, very efficient metallic receivers covered with solar selective absorber coatings maintained in vacuum are commonly employed. At high temperatures in air (T > 600 – 700°C), bulk materials with high thermal stability must be used instead, as coatings become unstable. Below 800°C, superalloys (e.g. Inconel) covered with non-selective absorbing black paints are used.
The CNRS/PROMES laboratory is looking for a candidate interested and highly motivated for applying for a permanent position as a researcher at CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research). Two fields of research are targeted by PROMES for this position, both related to concentrated solar energy:
- Conversion of solar energy into heat and power using concentrating technologies. This covers system analysis including economic approach, new optical designs, heat transfers, solar receivers design, thermodynamic cycles… New approaches combining several topics like CSP + CPV are eligible.
- Materials under extreme conditions, thermochemical conversion and solar fuels
The application concerns young persons graduated with a PhD. Persons who are currently in a post-doc position are preferred. The selection is based on a competition between candidates with various fields and projects of research. It is organized by CNRS at the national level. In general, no position is directed to a specific laboratory, like PROMES laboratory. However, “Thermal Solar” has been selected this year by CNRS as one of its priority themes.