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Three-Dimensional Optical and Thermal Numerical Model of Solar Tubular Receivers in Parabolic Trough Concentrators

[+] Author Affiliations
Men Wirz, Matthew Roesle, Aldo Steinfeld

ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Paper No. ES2012-91154, pp. 363-373; 11 pages
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2012 10th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, July 23–26, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4481-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Monte Carlo ray tracing, coupled to a finite volume solver, is used to model 3D heat transfer in a parabolic trough solar concentrator system. The non-uniform distribution of the incident solar radiation, the radiative exchange between the various receiver surfaces, and the heat gain/loss around the receiver’s circumference and along the system’s axis are determined for spectral radiative properties of the receiver and concentrator surfaces. The computed heat losses and thermal efficiencies agree well with experimental data. Besides the beneficial information on peak temperatures and heat flux, the 3D model also has a potential to predict glass temperatures more accurately than previous gray models and temperature correlations.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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