Optical analysis and optimization of line focus solar collectors

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The optical analysis of a solar concentrator is usually carried out by means of a computer ray tracing, a microscopic method that provides an enormous amount of detailed information but obscures functional relationships. This paper describes a macroscopic approach that yields all the parameters needed for the optical design of line focus parabolic troughs in closed analytical form, requiring only minimal computation. The goal of the optical analysis is to determine the flux at the receiver as a function of concentrator configuration, receiver size, width of sun, and optical errors (e.g., tracking, reflector contour). All causes of image spreading are ... continued below

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Pages: 73

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Bendt, P.; Rabl, A.; Gaul, H. W. & Reed, K. A. September 1, 1979.

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Description

The optical analysis of a solar concentrator is usually carried out by means of a computer ray tracing, a microscopic method that provides an enormous amount of detailed information but obscures functional relationships. This paper describes a macroscopic approach that yields all the parameters needed for the optical design of line focus parabolic troughs in closed analytical form, requiring only minimal computation. The goal of the optical analysis is to determine the flux at the receiver as a function of concentrator configuration, receiver size, width of sun, and optical errors (e.g., tracking, reflector contour). All causes of image spreading are quantified as angular standard deviation. Ray tracing with a real reflector and a real sun is shown to be equivalent to convoluting the angular acceptance function of a perfect concentrator with an effective radiation source. This effective source, in turn, is obtained by convoluting the distribution function of optical errors with the angular profile of the sun. The problem is reduced to two dimensions by projecting the three-dimensional motion of the sun on the plane normal to the tracking axis. In this frame the apparent width of the sun increases as 1/cos THETA with incidence angle THETA. A formula and a simple graphical procedure are provided for finding the optimal geometric concentration ratio, maximizing net power output. In the last section, which is written as a self-contained users guide, the results are illustrated by specific examples.

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Pages: 73

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Dep. NTIS, PC A04/MF A01.

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  • Report No.: SERI/TR-34-092
  • Grant Number: EG-77-C-01-4042
  • DOI: 10.2172/5746400 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5746400
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1096730

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • September 1, 1979

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 18, 2018, 3:59 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • June 8, 2018, 9:34 p.m.

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Bendt, P.; Rabl, A.; Gaul, H. W. & Reed, K. A. Optical analysis and optimization of line focus solar collectors, report, September 1, 1979; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1096730/: accessed August 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.