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Geometric Optimization of Concentrating Solar Collectors Using Monte Carlo Simulation

[+] Author Affiliations
A. J. Marston, K. J. Daun, M. R. Collins

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Paper No. IMECE2009-10523, pp. 759-767; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Heat Transfer, Fluid Flows, and Thermal Systems, Parts A, B and C
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4382-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


This paper presents an optimization methodology for designing linear concentrating solar collectors. The proposed algorithm makes intelligent design updates to the collector surface geometry according to specialized numerical algorithms. The process is much more efficient than traditional “trial-and-error” methods, producing a final solution that is near-optimal. A Monte Carlo technique is used to quantify the performance of the collector design in terms of an objective function, which is then minimized using a modified Kiefer-Wolfowitz algorithm that uses sample size and step size controls. The methodology is applied to the design of a linear parabolic concentrating collector, successfully arriving at the known optimal solution.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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