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Energies 2017, 10(11), 1907; doi:10.3390/en10111907

Investigation of the Effect of Physical and Optical Factors on the Optical Performance of a Parabolic Trough Collector

1
Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane CBD, QLD 4001, Australia
2
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIRO), 10 Murray Dwyer Circuit, Mayfield West, NSW 2304, Australia
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chittagong University of Engineering & Technology, Chittagong 4349, Bangladesh
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
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Abstract

The overall thermal performance of a Parabolic Trough Collector (PTC) depends on its optical performance, particularly the uniformity of the irradiance distribution and the resultant optical efficiency of the collector. Local Concentration Ratio (LCR), optical efficiency and average light concentration are three fundamental parameters of the optical performance of a PTC. These parameters are affected by various optical and physical factors. The effects of these individual factors on the performance parameters were investigated in this study using a verified Monte Carlo ray tracing optical simulation model. The investigation revealed that all three performance parameters are directly related to the optical properties of the collector components. The values decreased gradually with the increase of focal length of the mirror. Uniformity of the LCR profile was observed to decrease with increasing rim angle and geometric concentration. Defocus dislocation of the receiver was found to improve the uniformity of the LCR distribution by decreasing its peak concentrations, Cmax. Off-focus dislocation of the receiver, and inward angular deviation of the mirror profile were observed to increase the Cmax and decrease the uniformity of the LCR distribition. Out-focus dislocation of the receiver and solar tracking error distort the bi-symmetry of a normal LCR profile. View Full-Text
Keywords: parabolic trough collector; concentrating solar power; optical efficiency; collector performance; uniformity of irradiance distribution parabolic trough collector; concentrating solar power; optical efficiency; collector performance; uniformity of irradiance distribution
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Islam, M.; Miller, S.; Yarlagadda, P.; Karim, A. Investigation of the Effect of Physical and Optical Factors on the Optical Performance of a Parabolic Trough Collector. Energies 2017, 10, 1907.

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