Renew. Energy Environ. Sustain.
Volume 2, 2017
Sustainable energy systems for the future
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||25 August 2017|
The importance of surface finish to energy performance
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney,
PO Box 123,
* e-mail: email@example.com
Received in final form: 5 July 2017
Accepted: 28 August 2017
Power generation in solar energy systems, thermal control in buildings and mitigation of the Urban Heat Island problem, are all sensitive to directional response to incoming radiation. The radiation absorption and emission profile also plays a crucial role in each system's response and depends strongly on surface finish. This important sensitivity needs wider recognition in materials data sheets, system modeling, plus in materials and environmental engineering. The impact of surface roughness on thermal response of natural and man-made external environments is examined. Important examples will be given of the role of surface finish within each class. Total emittance links to the way surface finish influences directional emittance E(θ). Smooth surface thermal emittance on PV module covers, many solar absorbers, some roof paints, polished concrete, and glass windows can be up to 15% different from insulator results based on fully diffuse models of the same material. Widespread evidence indicates smooth metals and low-E solar absorber surfaces cool faster, and smooth insulators slower than previously thought. Matt paint is cooler than low sheen paint under the same solar heating impacts and normal concrete cooler than polished. Emittance for water is the prime environmental example of oblique impacts as it reflects strongly at oblique incidence, which leads to a significant drop in E(θ). Ripples or waves however raise water's average emittance. A surprise in this work was the high sensitivity of total E and its angular components to roughness in the depth range of 0.1–0.8 μm, which are well under ambient thermal IR wavelengths of 3–30 μm but common in metal finishing. Parallel energy flows such as evaporation and convective cooling vary if emittance varies. Thermal image analysis can provide insights into angular radiative effects.
© G.B. Smith et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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