Research Papers

Study of the Optical Impact of Receiver Position Error on Parabolic Trough Collectors

[+] Author and Article Information
Guangdong Zhu

Engineer IV, Ph.D.
Concentrating Solar Power Program,
National Renewable Energy Laboratory,
15013 Denver West Parkway,
Golden, CO 80401
e-mail: Guangdong.Zhu@nrel.gov

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received August 7, 2012; final manuscript received April 15, 2013; published online June 11, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Akiba Segal.

The United States Government retains, and by accepting the article for publication, the publisher acknowledges that the United States Government retains, a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for United States government purposes.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(3), 031021 (Jun 11, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1194; doi: 10.1115/1.4024247 History: Received August 07, 2012; Revised April 15, 2013

A newly developed analytical optical approach—first-principle OPTical intercept calculation (FirstOPTIC)—is employed to study the optical impact of receiver position error on parabolic trough collectors. The FirstOPTIC method treats optical error sources the way they are typically characterized in laboratory measurements using a geometrical or optical interpretation. By analyzing a large number of cases with varying system parameters, such as overall system optical error and the collector's geometrical parameters, a practical correlation between actual measurement data and its corresponding error-convolution approximation for receiver position error is established from parametric study; the correlation enables a direct comparison of receiver position error to the sun shape and other optical error sources (such as mirror specularity and slope error) with respect to the collector optical performance. The effective coefficients that define the correlation of actual measurement data and its error-convolution approximation for receiver position error are also summarized for several existing trough collectors; these make it convenient to characterize the relative impact of receiver position error compared with other optical error sources, which was not straightforward in the past. It is shown that FirstOPTIC is a suitable tool for in-depth optical analysis and fast collector design optimization, which otherwise require computationally intensive ray-tracing simulations.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of a general trough collector [8]

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Fig. 2

Illustration of collector acceptance angles with slope error (a) or receiver position error (b) present [8]

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Fig. 3

Intercept factor as a function of the RMS σreceiver,x(Δx/f) and σreceiver,z(Δz/f) of receiver position error along x and z

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Fig. 4

Comparison of intercept factor as a function of the RMS σreceiver,x(Δx/f) and σreceiver,z(Δz/f) of receiver position error for varying effective coefficients

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Fig. 5

Effect of overall system error on the effective coefficients of receiver position error

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Fig. 6

Effect of geometric parameters on the effective beam spread coefficients of receiver position error




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