A new algorithm for obtaining the critical tube diameter and intercept factor of parabolic trough solar collectors

Bin Zou, Yang Yao, Yiqiang Jiang, Hongxing Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A new algorithm for obtaining the critical tube diameter and intercept factor of parabolic trough solar collectors (PTCs) under the condition of tube alignment error has been developed theoretically, which, compared with the Monte Carlo Ray Tracing (MCRT) method, reduces the computing time remarkably. The results produced by the proposed method comply very well with the results obtained by MCRT. The critical tube diameters for different alignment errors can be precisely calculated using the algorithm, which can also be used to explain well the variation of optical efficiency. Effects of structural parameters on the optical performance are also discussed comprehensively. It is revealed that the offset direction that is perpendicular to the focus-edge connection line is most likely to cause rays-escaping. There exists an aperture width range (and also focal length range) in which the optical efficiency decreases with increasing offset angle, which is contrary to the conclusion presented in previous literature that the effects of X-direction offset (a = 0°) is greater than that in Y-direction (a = 90°). The proposed algorithm establishes the foundation for further geometric study on the coupling effects of multi-errors on PTCs’ performance, and can also be used for quick calculation and analysis in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-467
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy
Volume150
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

Keywords

  • Algorithm
  • Critical tube diameter
  • Intercept factor
  • Optical efficiency
  • Parabolic trough solar collector
  • Tube alignment error

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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