. Parabolic trough collector
Solar concentrators have been optically designed, analysed and experimented in our laboratory since 1997 [1-8]. The possible applications relate to Photo Voltaic sector, thermal field and internal
illumination. The paper examines one-axis tracking collectors with parabolic profile by means of ray tracing simulations. The configuration includes a linear parabolic mirror concentrating the light on an absorber represented by a metal pipe, surrounded by a glass tube. Figure 1 presents an overview of the parabolic trough collector. Figure 2 shows parabolic mirror profile and circular absorber section, whose centre is located in the parabola focus.
The paper summarises the results of several studies analysing the interactions between collector axis placement, sun’s altitude and collected light. The complete series of ray tracing simulations examines the solar parabolic trough and its possible geometrical modifications. Different versions of solar trough are combined to various sun’s altitudes and errors in collector axis placement, estimating the amount of energetic losses.
The reference configuration includes a linear parabolic mirror with focal length f=800mm. The dimensions of collector aperture are: width W=1.8m and length L=5m. The metal pipe has external diameter d=50mm and length L=5m. The glass tube has external diameter D=60mm and thickness T=3mm. In all simulations the absorber centre is located in the focal position.