Ten Year Study of a Novel ICPC Solar Collector Installation: Optical Modeling and Material Degradation

William S. Duff* and Jirachote Daosukho

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins CO 80523
* Corresponding Author, bill@engr. colostate. edu


A novel integral compound parabolic concentrator evacuated solar collector (ICPC) array has been in continuous operation at a demonstration project in Sacramento California since 1998. An ongoing study addresses the impact of optical, thermal, degradation and component failure factors on array performance over the ten years of operation. This paper reports on the ray trace modeling for the vertical and horizontally oriented fined absorber tubes and the degradation of the reflector in the tubes of the array. The paper will include a review of collection system performance and reliability over the ten years of operation, the design of the simulation, animations of rays striking at various angles, the incidence angle evaluation and the design of the laser device.

Keywords: ICPC, Optical Modeling, Materials Degradation, Reliability

1. Background

1.1 Development of the Novel ICPC

Research on CPC solar collectors has been going on for almost thirty years. See Garrison [1] and Snail et al [2]. In the early 1990s a new ICPC evacuated collector design was developed. The new ICPC design allows a relatively simple manufacturing approach and solves many of the operational problems of previous ICPC designs. The design and the fabrication approaches are described in Winston et al [3] and Duff et al [4].


Automatic Control System

The whole automation system is mainly divided into two parts: one part is the hardware equipments consisted of all kinds of devices used in the testing system; the other part …

The application of the regulations minimal solar collector area

Following the new regulations, a three bedrooms autonomous zone must have a minimal collector area of 4 m2 independently of the climate zone were is located. From the simulations results …

Measured sequences used for validation purposes

The comparison of experimental and calculated instantaneous power results, obtained after the different approaches presented in the previous section, is based on instantaneous efficiency measurements for a CPC collector (C …

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