Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Muhammad M. Rahman, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Rasim Guldiken, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andres Tejada-Martinez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Frank Pyrtle III, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Craig Lusk, Ph.D.


Phase Change Material, Radiation, Thermal Energy Storage, Global Warming


Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have a global impact on world economies and the ecosystem. Scientific assessment of GHG emissions is an issue that requires immediate action from key decision-makers and influencers. A comprehensive review of the impact of climate change and its dire consequences on daily life is illustrated in this dissertation. The most common technique to lower GHG emissions in the atmosphere is by switching GHG emission sources to zero-emission sources such as solar energy, wind energy, bioenergy, and geothermal power. Recently, all these technologies have made significant progress in lowering capital operation costs and their cycle efficiencies. This has increased their adoption in many countries and resulted in a slight decrease in the rate of air pollution production. Special attention is given to solar energy technology over the other renewable energy technologies because of its potential for fighting climate change. Solar energy is a renewable energy that is inexhaustible and widely available. The disadvantage of solar energy technology is its non-availability during nighttime or on cloudy days when solar radiation is not present to produce power. To overcome this issue, integrating a thermal energy storage system into a solar power plant is required to make the solar technology available around the clock by storing the heat for later use for power-plant cost reduction.

The main research and development needs of a thermal energy storage system are investigating cost-effectiveness, increased system efficiency, and material compatibility with the temperature of the solar power plant. Most current research focuses on investigating viable candidate materials for cost-effective techniques to store heat. In this study, we investigated the combination of fins with embedded absorbing nanoparticles in phase-change materials as well as in the inner wall, which can be integrated with a concentrated solar power plant for high-temperature-based power generation, leading to a renewable power plant with high thermal efficiency to replace fossil fuel-based power generation to reduce global warming. Our results indicate that these benefits could be significantly enhanced by incorporating a fin-shaped design that improves the thermal energy transfer during the processing. The results showed that solidification (energy recovery) time could be reduced by 76% by controlling the phase change material’s optical thickness property by embedding radiation-absorbing particles.