Conclusion Of Report On Solar Parabolic Collector

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This chapter presents a review and analysis of solar-driven heat engines for power generation with relevance to residential applications. The impact of solar systems on sustainable development is quantified based on fossil fuel vs solar energy utilization factors predicted over the next decades and by sustainability factor as introduced also in other works, e.g., by Dincer and Rosen (2005). The established large-scale and small-scale systems are presented and analyzed based on their performance parameters. A case study is presented illustrating the benefits of solar system in CO2 mitigation and reducing global warming by relating to renewable sources rather than fossil fuels.

The optimization of the solar-driven heat engine is important for obtaining a low-levelized electricity cost and augmented CO2 mitigation through solar power generation. With this fact in mind we developed here a model for a solar heat engine and optimization and identified the important optimization parameters which are the quality of the optical system expressed in terms of angular error S, the concentration ratio C, the rim angle (, the collector temperature corroborated with the insolation, as expressed by the collector factor Fcoll. The system can be optimized sequentially for each of the three relevant parameters C, f, Fcon for a given angular error S. The optimal rim angle is robust having a value of ~62.5o, independently on operating conditions. The system efficiency varies largely with optical system quality, and this will obviously influence the levelized electricity cost and the CO2 mitigation ability.


The authors acknowledge the financial support provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and the Cleanfield Energy Inc.


A area, m2

C concentration ratio

CC capital cost, $/m2

E energy, J

I solar radiation flux, W/m2

LEC levelized electricity cost, $/kWh

LT lifetime, years

MC maintenance costs, $/m2

Q heat flux, W

R energy utilization factor

T temperature, K

U heat transfer coefficient, W/m2K

W power output (electrical), W Greek letters a absorptivity

Y intercept factor

S angular optical error, rad

S emissivity

Ç shading coefficient n efficiency p reflectivity


Zamfirescu, Dincer, Verelli and Wagar


focal angle


Stefan-Boltzmann constant, W/m2K4




optical factor



dead state (environment)


concentrator's aperture


absorber (solar receiver)










heat recovery


heat losses into ambient








power conversion






solar constant


total (beam + diffuse)


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