Optical simulation of a parabolic solar trough collector

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The optical simulation of a linear parabolic solar collector with a tubular receiver is presented. The simulation considers a general model of a trough collector with a pipe receiver, with or without a glass covering, and with a realistic solar irradiation from an arbitrary direction. Optical properties can depend on the wavelength. The simulation is performed using a three-dimensional ray-tracing technique and allows us to follow a ray along all the multiple reflections and refractions that occur at the mirror and at the receiver. Defects of various kinds are simulated. The simulation computes the total optical efficiency, the distribution of the absorbed radiation on the surface of the receiver, and the energy absorbed by the glass covering (if present). The results for a typical trough electric production system are shown and commented upon. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19 - 36
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Energy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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