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Energies 2018, 11(2), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11020291

Solar Ray Tracing Analysis to Determine Energy Availability in a CPC Designed for Use as a Residential Water Heater

1
Renewable Energy Department, Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán, Mérida 97200, Mexico
2
Conacyt—Centro de Investigaciones en Óptica, Unidad de Aguascalientes, Prol. Constitución 607, Reserva Loma Bonita, Aguascalientes 20200, Mexico
3
Arian International Projects, c/Baldiri Reixach, 4, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
4
Metal-Mechanical Department, Instituto Tecnológico Nacional de México, Campus Apizaco, Av. Instituto Tecnológico S/N, Apizaco 90300, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract

Compound parabolic concentrators are relevant systems used in solar thermal technology. With adequate tailoring, they can be used as an efficient and low-cost alternative in residential water heating applications. This work presents a simulation study using a ray tracing analysis. With this technique, we simulate the interaction between solar rays and solar concentrator to quantify the amount of energy that impinges on the receiver at a particular time. Energy availability is evaluated in a comparison of two configurations throughout the year: static setup at 21° and multi-position setup; tilted with respect to the horizontal, depending on three seasonal positions: 0° for summer, 16° for spring/autumn, and 32° for winter, with the aim to evaluate the amount of available energy in each season. The fact that a tracking system can be dispensed with also represents an economical option for the proposed application. The results showed that at 21°, the proposed solar Compound Parabolic Concentrator (CPC) works satisfactorily; however, by carrying out the selected angular adjustments, the overall energy availability increased by 22%, resulting in a more efficient option. The most effective design was also built and analyzed outdoors. The obtained thermal efficiency was of ~43%. The optical design and its evaluation developed herein proved to be a valuable tool for prototype design and performance evaluation. View Full-Text
Keywords: ray tracing analysis; compound parabolic concentrator; solar water heating; photonics; optics ray tracing analysis; compound parabolic concentrator; solar water heating; photonics; optics
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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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Terrón-Hernández, M.; Peña-Cruz, M.I.; Carrillo, J.G.; Diego-Ayala, U.; Flores, V. Solar Ray Tracing Analysis to Determine Energy Availability in a CPC Designed for Use as a Residential Water Heater. Energies 2018, 11, 291.

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