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RESEARCH PAPERS

Experimental Evaluation of a Cylindrical Parabolic Solar Collector

[+] Author and Article Information
J. W. Ramsey

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.

B. P. Gupta, G. R. Knowles

Energy Resources Center, Honeywell, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.

J. Heat Transfer 99(2), 163-168 (May 01, 1977) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3450663 History: Received December 03, 1976; Online August 11, 2010

Abstract

Results are presented for a series of solar collector experiments in which the incident solar flux was concentrated by a single-axis tracking parabolic trough mirror. The concentrated solar flux was directed onto an absorber tube whose axis coincided with the focal axis of the concentrator. The performance of the collector was evaluated using three different absorbers; a black painted tube designed to operate near ambient temperature, a heat pipe which had a selective solar absorber coating applied to its surface, and a heat pipe which had its surface coated with a nonselective black paint. The peak efficiency for the collector in the absence of heat losses is approximately 62 percent when the incoming solar energy is normal to the collector aperture. The heat losses which occurred at elevated temperatures (300°C) decreased the peak efficiencies to 50 and 30 percent, respectively, for the selectively coated and black painted tubes. The experimental results establish the technical feasibility of using parabolic trough collectors for applications requiring thermal energy at temperatures up to 300°C.

Copyright © 1977 by ASME
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