UNESCO UNISA Africa Chair in Nanosciences & Nanotechnology, South Africa
Prof. M. Maaza is currently a permanent staff member of the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF). Among other positions held, he was thernSouthern Africa representative of the International Commission of Optics (ICO-CIO) and Vice-President of the National Council of Scientists & Engineers ofrnFrance: Section South-Africa (CNISF). He is the chair of the ICSU-UNESCO-UNIDOTWAS supported official Nanosciences African Network (NANOAFNET), andrnsouthern Africa coordinator of the African Physical Society (AfPS) as well as a member of the board of the directors of the African Laser Centre (ALC). He is thernSouth Africa representative of the African Lasers, Atoms & Molecules Network (LAMNETWORK). He was and is the Southern Africa contact point of the Japan-rnSouth Africa S&T cooperation and ICS-UNIDO respectively in nanosciences-nanotechnologies. He has been recently elected as the Africa representative in thernEU funded nanosciences-nanotechnologies international initiative (ICPCNANONET) and COST action 702. Prof. Maaza has been instrumental in pioneering andrnimplementing numerous currently successful ongoing continental and national official initiatives amid which the African Laser Centre, the Nanosciences AfricanrnNetwork, the National Laser Centre of South Africa (NLC SA) and the South African Nanotechnology initiative (SANi). Prof. Maaza is the current UNESCO UNISArnAfrica Chair in Nanosciences & Nanotechnology via a trilateral partnership between UNESCO, NRF and the University of South Africa (UNISA). He is in chargernof the Africa-International relations desk officer at iThemba LABS-National Research Foundation of South Africa. He is extraordinary professor at the Tshwane-rnPretoria University of Technology and an associate scientist of the US National Science Foundation Centre of Excellence in Nanosciences-Clark Atlanta University.rnHe is a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Chemistry, New York Academy of Sciences & the Islamic Academy of Sciences. His expertisernis in the multidisciplinary field of nanosciences, photonics and solar energy. He has published more than 250 ISI publications and supervised several postgraduatesrnfrom Africa.
The most significant concern of our world today is the energy derived mainly from fossil fuel which exceeds 87 % both inrnadvanced & developing economies including African nations. A shift towards greener energy technologies has producedrnenergy changes worldwide; Africa included. In view of the large direct normal solar irradiation in the continent (average ofrn220 W/m2 in Africa against 150 and 100 W/m2 in the USA and Europe respectively), several African nations have embarkedrnin large solar energy parks and programs. One could quote Morocco and South Africa specifically with a target of 3.7 GW andrn5 GW at Ourzazat and Upington solar parks respectively. There are 2 major solar energy technologies: the Photovoltaics (PVs)rn& the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). While the PVs are dominated by household & small to average businesses’ usage, thernCSP is geared towards high throughput and grid based consumption. In the CSP plants, known also as solar photo-thermalrnpower plants, the electricity is produced in much the same way as conventional power stations. The difference is that theyrnobtain their energy input by concentrating solar radiations and converting them to high temperature steam or gas to drive arnturbine/engine. More precisely, the incoming radiations are reflected by parabolic mirrors which concentrate the solar energyrntowards a selective solar absorber coatings deposited on metallic tubes. Hence, the most important and critical part of the solarrncollector is the black selective absorber surface itself, which should absorb a maximum of solar radiations & convert them intornheat, which in its turn transferred to the heat transfer fluid. In this sense, 6 configurations of the black selective solar absorberrnnano-coatings can be adopted technologically: (1) intrinsic, (2) semiconductor-metal tandems, (3) multilayered absorbers,rn(4) multi-dielectric composite coatings, (5) textured surfaces, and (6) selectively solar-transmitting coating on a blackbodylikernabsorber. This contribution reports on recent advances in novel class of selective solar absorber nanostructures for highrntemperature CSP applications.