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A High-Flux Solar Furnace for Undergraduate Engineering Education and High-Temperature Thermochemistry Research

[+] Author Affiliations
G. Scott Duncan, Shahin Nudehi, Robert Palumbo, Luke J. Venstrom

Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN

Paper No. ES2014-6437, pp. V001T02A018; 7 pages
  • ASME 2014 8th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2014 12th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 1: Combined Energy Cycles, CHP, CCHP, and Smart Grids; Concentrating Solar Power, Solar Thermochemistry and Thermal Energy Storage; Geothermal, Ocean, and Emerging Energy Technologies; Hydrogen Energy Technologies; Low/Zero Emission Power Plants and Carbon Sequestration; Photovoltaics; Wind Energy Systems and Technologies
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, June 30–July 2, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4586-8
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


The optical design and engineering features of a 10 kW solar furnace now operational at Valparaiso University are described. The solar furnace is anticipated to achieve a mean concentration ratio of 3000 suns over a 6 cm diameter focus. It will support high-temperature solar chemistry research and undergraduate engineering pedagogy. Many of the components of the solar furnace were designed and constructed by undergraduate engineering students. Some of these students cite their participation in the solar furnace project as the motivating factor for continuing to work in the area of energy science in industry or graduate school.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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