Solar evaporation for simultaneous steam and power generation
The rapid development of photothermal materials and their integrated systems has fostered recent technology breakthroughs in solar evaporation for both steam and power generation. Here, we discuss this new and emerging area that aims to directly couple photothermal materials and solar steam devices towards clean water and electricity generation. The photothermal conversion physics and engineering strategies of solar absorbers are firstly described. The electric generation mechanisms to be covered include triboelectric, pyroelectric, piezoelectric, thermoelectric, thermal-electrochemical and salinity gradient effects. The diverse systems are then systematically scrutinized and discussed towards better harvesting and conversion of solar energy. The operation principles are described and the performance requirements are elaborated, together with the advantages, but also the limitations. Comparisons of the solar evaporation and electric performance are additionally made for such developed systems. Finally, future research directions of the systems are highlighted, and the potential for new applications and hybrid approaches in development of Synergy City are outlined.