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Absorber Alignment Measurement Tool for Solar Parabolic Trough Collectors

[+] Author Affiliations
J. Kathleen Stynes

University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO

Benjamin Ihas

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

Paper No. ES2012-91283, pp. 437-447; 11 pages
doi:10.1115/ES2012-91283
From:
  • 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

abstract

As we pursue efforts to lower the capital and installation costs of parabolic trough solar collectors, it is essential to maintain high optical performance. While there are many optical tools available to measure the reflector slope errors of parabolic trough solar collectors, there are few tools to measure the absorber alignment. A new method is presented here to measure the absorber alignment in two dimensions to within 0.5 cm. The absorber alignment is measured using a digital camera and four photogrammetric targets. Physical contact with the receiver absorber or glass is not necessary. The alignment of the absorber is measured along its full length so that sagging of the absorber can be quantified with this technique. The resulting absorber alignment measurement provides critical information required to accurately determine the intercept factor of a collector.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME

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