Publication date: Available online 1 November 2018
Source: Renewable Energy
Author(s): T. Osório, P. Horta, M. Collares-Pereira
The use of solar thermal energy to supply industrial process heat is one of the most promising areas for solar market growth. Whereas low temperature (T < 100 °C) applications and the higher end of medium temperature applications (200 °C < T < 400 °C) are well suited for stationary collectors and line-focusing tracking collectors, respectively, a gap in collector offer exists in between. Non-imaging CPC (Compound Parabolic Concentrator) type concentrators show the potential to cover this gap when designed for a quasi-stationary (or seasonally tilt adjusted) operation, making use of the advantages of concentration while not depending on tracking systems, thus presenting a great potential for low cost production. Many factors, from the geometrical design to materials, production, installation conditions, O&M, operation temperature and resource availability have an impact on the performance and cost, and must be accounted for to find the optimum collector design. In this study, we developed a method for a customized design of a quasi-stationary CPC-type collector in which the Levelized Cost of Heat delivered is minimized. This methodology, based on a database of several collector configurations, will make it easier for any manufacturer to identify the most cost-effective solution for a particular installation.