Invited Talk

”Coating development by reactive sputtering for energy related applications”

L. Mendizabal, U. Ruiz de Gopegui, E. Gutierrez-Berasategui and J Barriga

IK4-Tekniker, Gipuzkoa, Spain

Reactive magnetron sputter deposition technology is currently used in manifold energy-related applications where high-performing materials made by industrially scalable processes are required.  This presentation will give an extensive overview about coating development by reactive sputtering technique in three relevant green energy-related applications: Concentrated solar power (CSP) and Photovoltaics (PV) for energy generation and Power-to-H2 by polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolysis (PEMWE) for energy storage.

Solar energy is one of the fastest growing green energy sources in the world, where Photovoltaic and CSP are mayor players.

Concentrated solar power (CSP) technology is based on the concentration of solar radiation using parabolic reflective surfaces (typically glass mirrors) and focusing the collected energy on a receiver tube, which is placed on the geometrical focus of the parabola. Solar selective coatings deposited by reactive sputtering are the core of the receiver, which are responsible for the high absorbance and low emissivity of the tube. We will go through the design, development and industrial deposition on 4 meter long tubes of the complete solar selective stack.

Extreme cost reduction experienced by PV energy has driven back the attention to this source of energy. PV energy directly converts sunlight into electricity, using a technology based on the photovoltaic effect. Reactive magnetron sputtering is currently employed for the deposition of several layers in the PV panels. We will describe different examples of coating development using this technology; i.e. transparent conductor electrodes deposition on almost every panels and IR reflector for increasing Building integrated PV windows efficiency.  

One of the most promising solutions for large and long-term energy storage from renewable energies like wind and solar is the production of hydrogen by water electrolysis (Power-to-H2) from surplus renewable electricity and water. Hydrogen generated from water electrolysis is a flexible and clean energy carrier that offers multiple possibilities, such as large renewable energy storage capacity, grid stabilization and highly efficient reconversion to electricity via fuel cells. Polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolysis (PEMWE) is especially suited for hydrogen production from renewable energies due to fast dynamic response to power fluctuations. Some examples about the utilization of reactive sputtering for advance coating solutions on several components of the PEMWE stack will be given.