Manufacturing a trough parabolic solar collector and predicting its theoretical performance

Document Type: Persian


I.A.U., Khomeinishahr Branch


The aim of this research was manufacturing a parabolic trough solar collector in which reflecting surface is made of mirror steel rather than usual mirror and also predicting its theoretical adjusting planar ⩝ -shaped structures parallel to each other and welding them together, the main supporting structure was assembled and a parabolic-shape Teflon arc was installed in the aperture of each ⩝-shaped structure. Then the steel plate was installed on the main structure to form a parabolic trough surface. Other components were manufactured and assembled according to conventional methods. In order to predict performance, efficiency was formulated as a function of incident angle according to the related theory. By programing in MATLAB, net rate of heat absorption and efficiency were calculated and corresponding diagrams plotted against apparent solar time for several days of the year. The results indicated that when solar radiation was close to vertical, efficiency increased form fifty percent in the morning to sixty at noon and decreased to fifty again in the afternoon. Otherwise it decreased from sixty percent in the morning to fifty at noon and increased to sixty again in the afternoon. Maximum net rate of heat absorption (w/m 2) occurred at noon (450-550) and the minimum at sunrise and sunset (400-450). Although the efficiency of the manufactured collector is slightly different from that of usual ones, less assembly time and cost and higher quality of surface geometry and more durability of reflecting surface are considerable compared with conventional collectors of this type.