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Design and Construction of a Prototype of Solar Parabolic Collector Disk Type with Solar Tracking System

By: M.Sc. Alarcón Alexander, E.E López Andrea, E.E Hortúa Jairo, and E.E Zámbrano Álvaro

Grupo de Compatibilidad e Interferencia Electromagnética- GCEM Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas

Summary - This paper summarizes the process of designing and building of a parabolic solar collector type disk, which will be used in future research to study the behaviour - features - the - effectiveness of this technology in the production of heat and electricity, for radiation conditions in Colombia. Includes the analysis and verification of disk geometric aspects, design and construction of a system of two-axis solar tracking and also building a data acquisition system for recording and storing measurements related to atmospheric variables.

During this process, calculations, simulations, construction and verification tests of each one of the constructed components were performed. Once assembled, tests were conducted to evaluate the performance of the overall system, for solar radiation conditions of Bogotá.

The results showed that the system is able to collect up to 5.42 kwh in a day, in appropriate radiation conditions.

Resumen Este documento resume el proceso de diseño y construcción de un colector solar parabólico tipo disco, que se usará en investigaciones futuras para estudiar el comportamiento-las características- la efectividad- de esta tecnología en la producción de energía térmica y energía eléctrica, para las condiciones de radiación en Colombia. Incluye el cálculo y verificación de los aspectos geométricos del disco, diseño y construcción de un sistema de seguimiento solar en dos ejes y también, la construcción de un sistema de adquisición de datos para el registro y almacenamiento de mediciones relacionadas con las variables atmosféricas.

Durante este proceso se realizaron los cálculos, simulaciones, construcción y pruebas de verificación de cada uno de los componentes construidos. Una vez ensamblados, se realizaron pruebas para evaluar el funcionamiento del sistema en conjunto, para las condiciones de radiación solar de la ciudad de Bogotá. Los resultados demostraron que el sistema es capaz de obtener hasta 5.42 kWh en un día, para condiciones de radiación adecuadas.

Key words: Solar thermal systems, solar collector, direct radiation, solar tracker, thermal efficiency, focus. Microcontroller.

Palabras clave: Sistemas térmicos solares, colector solar, radiación solar directa, seguidor solar, eficiencia térmica, foco, microcontrolador.

I. INTRODUCTION In recent years there has been an increase in electricity consumption worldwide [1], driven by population growth, the development of industry and the high demand for new technology devices. This context has caused the dependence on fossil fuels, generating a risk factor for the climate by emitting greenhouse gases that adversely affect the environment and accelerate climate change [2]. Faced with this problem, was launched in search of an energy solution applied to the utilization of solar resource, finding that the solar concentrator systems represent a competitive choice for conversion and generation of thermal and electric energy.

In Colombia, progress has been made in the use of solar resource using photovoltaic, however solar thermal technology has not been explored as a source

of energy production, despite its high potential in the power sector and industry, given its advantages and efficiency compared other renewable technologies.

Therefore, and due deepen these technologies and evaluate solar thermal systems in the Colombian context , a prototype capable of concentrating sunlight on a small area to produce steam, which can be used in production developed electricity or thermal applications .

There is currently a boom in the construction of solar plants in the world as technology has improved and offers efficiencies reaching 30% in systems of power generation [3 ], [4 ] . Colombia, its geographical location and the radiation conditions, allows the implementation of this technology, however it is important to evaluate the performance of these systems with the weather conditions and the characteristics of our country solar radiation because they are different from other countries where it has been developed. Because of these issues and the absence of this technology in Colombia, it was considered necessary to build this test device.

II. PROTOTYPE DESIGN

In order to develop the prototype, geometry calculations of the concentrator disk, thermal analysis and system efficiency were carried out. With the above results the design of the collector was developed as shown below.

A. Selection of materials.

For the prototype design an analysis requirements of materials according to their physical and optical properties as they are: reflectivity, hardness, corrosion resistance, tensile strength, elasticity, and resistance to high temperature was done. Besides mechanical, optical and thermal and acquisition costs factors were taken into account because of these factors depends on the operation and lifetime of the collector.

From the study of reflective materials for solar concentrators [5], [6] and the study of the technical formats of the same specifications, two different types of steel were selected:

• AISI 304 for the collector structure, because it has excellent resistance to corrosion, supports welding processes without losing their properties and hardness is high.

• AISI 430T -BA for the disk collector, due to its high

reflectivity, gloss, resistance to high temperatures and

oxidation.

B. Design Criteria Prototype

The specification of the collectors is usually made based on the thermal energy and the maximum temperature obtained in focus collector, however, in this case we chose to design the collector from a known diameter, for later to study the technology and evaluate the thermal behavior with the atmospheric conditions of Colombia. Due to that, this is a test device, the design criteria used are geometrical and they are shown as follows:

• Diameter of 1.5 m concentrator disc type.

• Radio receiver (receiver) equal to 0.015 m.

The 1.5m diameter selected is an option that allows satisfying the energy needs at small scale which is adequate for the purposes of the project. Additionally, the radio receiver is within the recommended range for this type of applications, ensuring a high concentration ratio [7].

The literature indicates that diameters below 1 m provide very small focal images, causing a reduction in the concentration ratio, which results in a lower temperature at the focus.

C.

concentrator disk

Geometric

calculations

for

the

design

of

The solar concentrator is the most important element of a generation solar thermal system because of allows concentrating the sunlight on a small area, increasing the temperature to reach values close to 750 degrees Celsius [5] for this type of technology. Based on the design criteria, the focal point at a

distance of 0.42 m is determined, allowing calculating and defining the curvature of the manifold in a simple way, facilitating the manufacture and cleaning of the disk collector.

Figure 1 shows the geometry of the parabolic solar collector type disk and the calculating aspects in the design:

type disk and the calculating aspects in the design: Figure 1: Geometry of the parabolic solar

Figure 1: Geometry of the parabolic solar collector type disk.

The calculations reports are of the collector are presented with the geometric factors as follows:

TABLE I VARIABLES USED IN THE GEOMETRIC FIGURES

   

Numbe

Abbrevi

r

ation

Variable

Value

 

Opening Diameter

 

oD

(m)

1,50

f

Focus f (m)

0,42

 

Ratio stirling engine

 

a

head (m)

0,02

 

cone angle α angular

 

α

sun-earth (degrees)

0,27

 

cone angle α angular

4,65E-

α

sun-earth (rad)

03

 

Deviation speculate

 

δ

(degrees)

3,00

 

Deviation speculate

 

δ

(rad)

0,05

1) Opening diameter (Od) and the maximum angle that defines ():

∅ = 2arctg oD 4f

(rad)

Equation 1: Opening angle

Obtaining an opening angle of 83.5 °, which represents the value of the angle formed by the focal line and which connects the focal point with the edge of the parabola.

2) Edge Ratio (Er) or maximum distance between the focal point and the end of the paraboloid.

er =

2f

1 + cos = 0.75 mts

Equation 2: Edge Ratio

3) C concentration ratio is defined as the relation between the opening area (Oa) and the area of the receiver (Ra), and indicates the factor or portion in which the concentration of sunlight in the receiver is intensified. Parabolic disc collectors are characterized by having a much greater relation of concentration than other solar systems concentrators.

C =

Oa

Ra

Equation 3: Relation of concentration

Where Oa is the opening area, and is calculated as:

Oa =

πDa 2

4

Equation 4: Opening Area

Obtaining an opening area: 1.76 m². To calculate the area of the receiver the opening angle, the radius of the hall, the edge radius and angle sustained by the sun as seen from Earth are considered; where the sun is seen as a circular disc subtending an angle α of 32 'or 0.53 ° as shown in Figure 2:

Figure 2: Dimension of image in the parabolic solar collector type disc. From Figure 2

Figure 2: Dimension of image in the parabolic solar collector type disc.

From Figure 2 it is known that a = 0.015 m (ratio of the receiver), c is the hypotenuse formed between the focus and the point B and = 83.5 °. The following relationship between the points B, C, E is also noted:

relationship between the points B, C, E is also noted: Figure. 3: Geometric relation points BCE

Figure. 3: Geometric relation points BCE

Where h is half of the contact surface of the cylinder

2

receiver and is equals to.

h

2 = 0,0021 m

Therefore the contact surface of the receiver cylinder is:

h = 0.00412 m

The area of the receiver can be determined by the following equation:

Ar = 2πah

Equation 5: Area of the receiver

With the values a and h, applying equation 5 we have:

Ar = 0.000388 m ^ 2 = 388mm ^ 2

With the values of Aa, Ar and applying Equation 3, we proceed to calculate the relation of the concentration of parabolic solar collector disc type:

C =

1.76 m 2 0,00038 m 2 = 4555

Where C is the maximum concentration obtained in a parabolic concentrator with flat receiver; however in Equation 3 does not take into account the angular spread in the receiver caused by the inappropriate solar tracking (minimum displacement angle very large or very large time of positioning), the poor quality of the surface polishing and the curvature inadequate collector surface. The following figure outlines the reasons previously exposed:

following figure outlines the reasons previously exposed: Figure 4: Factors that affect the diameter of receiver

Figure 4: Factors that affect the diameter of receiver

Having in mind the angular dispersion and the specular deviation (3 degrees) the relation of maximum concentration would be:

Cmaxr = 4476

With the relation of maximum real concentration, the optimum focal length (of) can be obtained, so that the highest possible concentration is achieved. Once calculations done the optimal focal distance was obtained:

of = 0,416 m

Table II presents the obtained results from the geometric calculations of the hub.

TABLE II GEOMETRIC RESULTS OF CALCULATIONS

Φ

Opening angle (rad)

1,46

 

Opening angle

 

(degrees )

83,52

Re

radius edge (m)

0,75

 

Contact Surface Stirling ( theoretical )

 

h

(m )

4,12E-03

 

Receiver area ( m2)

 

Ra

(m2)

3,88E-04

 

Opening area ( m2)

 

Oa

(m2)

1,76

 

concentration ratio

 

Cmax

(theoretical)

4.555,67

 

concentration ratio

 

Cmaxr

(real)

4.475,97

 

optimal focal distance

 

Fo

(m)

0,42

D. Checking the disc geometry

In occasion to verify the geometric parameters of the solar collector and check the impact of the sun's rays into focus, drive simulation software in TONATIUH was performed. This application developed by the National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER in Spanish) [14] allows to simulate solar concentration systems combining ray tracing with Monte Carlo method. The simulation is done shooting rays from a simulated solar source and observing the interactions between rays and surfaces of the system for the built prototype. To simulate the hub was necessary to introduce geometrical parameters of focal length (fo = 0.416 m) maximum and the minimum ratio of the hub (0.75 m and 0 m) and indicate the active face of the component. It was also necessary to define the reflectivity of the material, the speculate deviation and solar radiation in the area, which was taken from the solar radiation atlas published by the UPME [15 ] In the case of Bogotá, the average daily radiation used was

3.5

kWh

k W h

m

2

a 4 kWh

m 2 .

The simulation is done throwing 500,000 lines representing the sun lights; (the program allows launching more than 15,000,000 ray), due to make viewing them in the focus of the collector. Figures 5 and 6 show the behavior of the rays incident on the collector and are reflected on the receiver:

incident on the collector and are reflected on the receiver: Figure 5: Behaviour of the parabolic

Figure 5: Behaviour of the parabolic solar collector type disc to the launching of the sun lights.

collector type disc to the launching of the sun lights. Figure 6: Receiver of the parabolic

Figure 6: Receiver of the parabolic solar collector type disc after the incidence of the sun lights on it

According to the simulation, it was found that the geometric parameters (opening diameter, focal length) previously calculated are correct and ensure the correct incidence of sunlight on the receiver. With these results we can confirm that the made design is suitable from the geometrical point of view.

E. Calculation of optical and thermal factors

Once known the geometric factors required for the hub disc, the optical efficiency and the thermal efficiency is evaluated, taking into account the characteristics of the material selected for the construction.

Theoretical optical efficiency

The optical efficiency of the collector indicates the percentage of penetration of sunlight on the collector cover and the percentage to be absorbed, which depends on the geometry of the system, the concentration factor and the materials selected for the construction. To calculate the optical characteristics of the selected material (AISI 430T -BA), are used. They are presented in Table III.

TABLE III

FEATURES OF THE MATERIAL USED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE DISC HUB AND CALCULATION OF OPTICAL EFFICIENCY

0.85 Absorptance receptor

0.85

Absorptance receptor

1 Transmittance of glass that covers the receiver (if any). In this case does not

1

Transmittance of glass that covers the receiver (if any). In this case does not exist, then it is equal to 1

0.572 concentrator reflectivity

0.572

concentrator reflectivity

S

0.999

Shape factor calculated

The shape factor (S) refers to the portion of the hub opening area which is not shaded by the receiver; and is given by:

Oa − At

S =

Aa

Equation 6: Shape Factor

where At represents the fraction of the hub opening area which is not shaded by the receiver

At = Aa- receiver based area = 1.76 m2

Equation 7: Fraction of opening area not shaded by the receiver

The optical efficiency calculated with the data given and equation 8 shows an efficiency of 49 %, [8], [9],

[10]:

n o = ρ c τ v ρS = 0.49

Equation 6: Optical Efficiency

The average temperature obtained in the receiver in the solar collector is calculated with this.

Thermal calculations

Knowing the optical efficiency and the characteristics of the material collector efficiency the thermal efficiency of the collector is calculated; including maximum temperature expected [11], [12], [13], [16], and [17]. From the parameters in Table IV, the collector thermal calculations were made, obtaining as a result the values in Table V.

TABLE IV PARAMETERS USED IN CALCULATING THERMAL COLLECTOR IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MATERIAL USED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE DISC COLLECTOR

Symbol

Value

Description

0.5 Emissivity of the receiver ( rolled steel )

0.5

Emissivity of the receiver ( rolled steel )

0.4 Range of maximum thermal efficiency of the solar concentrator (40% - 60%)

0.4

Range of maximum thermal efficiency of the solar concentrator (40% - 60%)

   

Stefan -Boltzmann

σ

5.67*10-8

constant (W/m2*K4)

Kair

0,02

Thermal conductivity of air (W/m*K)

Dout

0,03

diameter receiver (m)

Vair

0,83

Wind speed (m/s)

µair

1,83E-05

Dynamic viscosity of air (N*s/m2)

Ρair

1,20

Density of air (kg/m3)

Tair

19,50

Air temperature (ºC)

Tamb

20 ºC

environment

temperature

Tsol

5726.84

Near temperature of the sun

ºC

γair

1,52E-05

Kinematic viscosity of air (m2/sec)

N

25,51

Nusselt number

Re

1.643,80

Reynolds number

UL

19,85

average heat loss coefficient (W/m2*K)

   

convection coefficient

Hw

17,00

(W/m2*K)

   

coefficient of radiation

Hr

2,84

(W/m2*K)

The following are the results of the thermal analysis made.

TABLE V VALUES OBTAINED FROM THERMAL ANALYSIS

 

Calculated

 

Symbol

value

Description

Trm

161.97 ºC

average temperature in the receiver

Q

opt

710 W

Power absorbed by the receiver

Q

loss

1.09 W

Energy losses from the receiver to the environment

Q

out

708.9 W

useful energy delivered

n

inst

48,5%

instantaneous

thermal

 

efficiency

F. Graphical representation of the collector

Based on the dimensions and geometric calculated above, the prototype was designed on SOLIDWORKS software, considering the characteristics of the parabola and focus as well as the dimensions and materials as presented in Figure 7.

as the dimensions and materials as presented in Figure 7. Figure 7: Design of the parabolic

Figure 7: Design of the parabolic solar collector disc type

III. CONSTRUCTION OF THE COLLECTOR

The structure comprises a base, an arch, a focal support and a concentrator disc as shown in Figure 8. Such structure has an approximate weight of 68 kg.

Figure 8. Such structure has an approximate weight of 68 kg. Figure 8: Parts of the

Figure 8: Parts of the solar collector

The construction of the collector was started with the modeling of the parts in the SOLIDWORKS software, then the same were manufactured with the selected materials, the welding and assembly

process was performed and finished with electrostatic painting process to get, join and obtaining the device shown in Figure 9.

to get, join and obtaining the device shown in Figure 9. Figure 9: Prototype of parabolic

Figure 9: Prototype of parabolic solar collector disk type

IV. DESIGN OF THE SOLAR TRACKER

For optimum functioning of the parabolic solar collector disk type, it must be ensured that the radiation impinges perpendicularly with respect to the disk surface and be evenly reflected to the receiving element, where the energy is concentrated in the form of heat. To achieve this requires a system that allows the collector track the sun from sunrise in

the “EAST " until sunset on the " WEST " , ensuring reception of a greater amount of energy radiated during day.

A. Criteria and parameters in the design of the solar tracker

The design criteria used are defined taking into account that the system must have low power consumption and should capture as much radiation as possible, defining duty cycles where the collector orientation is corrected with respect to the position of the sun every 15 minutes. This indicates that there is an error in the angle of incidence of the rays with respect to the concentrator, because the sun will continue its tracking while the collector will maintain a fixed position in these 15 minutes.

Aspects required for solar tracker are:

• Movement on two axes (x, y)

• Power supply for DC engines.

• Ease of construction.

• Accuracy of movement

Besides, other factors were considered as follows:

• Reduction of mechanical stress of the engines:

Due to avoid overexertion (mechanical and electrical) of the engines.

• Stability of the structure before the movement:

The system must be hardy enough to maintain position and support the weight of the disk. • Electronic Circuit Protection: Inside the electronic circuit a system of protection against overcurrent and overvoltage should be included.

Control of the collector position: The system

must have an item to know the collector position and adjust it according to the schedule of a control system.

• Speed control of engines: The movement of the solar concentrator should be slow.

B. Methodology used for the design of the tracker

To control position was decided to work with a mechanism of horizontal - vertical movement that is controlled by a microcontroller, depending on the angle of the sun's height or zenith angle the day of the year, the azimuth angle, the latitude of location and time of day [18].

The method used to track the sun's path is tracked by means of equations, because it allows predicting the specific position of the sun and not dependent on climatic variation such as cloud cover, which can affect the detection system when positioning blocks optical sensors.

In the method of positioning with equations the zenith and azimuth angles of the sun are calculated through the declination angle of the earth throughout the year, the latitude of the place, date and time of day. With the previous, the process to follow was as shown in the diagram below.

I. Calculation of zenith and azimuth angles of the sun

I. Calculation of zenith and azimuth angles of the sun II. Identification circuit elements III. Design

II. Identification circuit elements

angles of the sun II. Identification circuit elements III. Design of the plant control and electronic

III. Design of the plant control and electronic circuit

III. Design of the plant control and electronic circuit IV. Programming of the microcontroller Figure 10:

IV. Programming of the microcontroller

Figure 10: Routine employed in the design of the solar tracker

C. Control System of the solar tracker

Based on the above methodology, a routine was programmed in a microcontroller using PIC C software to execute the movement of the system according to the zenith and azimuth angles , and using the information obtained from a real-time clock, an accelerometer and a magnetic compass , the two engines are controlled and the collector is positioned correctly. In this routine the microcontroller reads the date, time clock real time, and other variables with a

sampling rate of 64ms. With these data and calculated information from the zenith and azimuth angles, the order to the engines is given to move to a suitable angle.

Since the motors are moving faster than is required, a system of pulse-width modulation (PWM ) was implemented ,which operates at a frequency of 5 kHz , with a variable duty cycle , which enables switching of the engines, decreasing the rotational speed . After placing the collector in the correct angle, the accelerometer and magnetic compass indicate that the proper position was reached, hence the collector stops. The positioning of the collector will take place every 15 minutes, with an angle of 3 º.

will take place every 15 minutes, with an angle of 3 º. Figure 11: Diagram of

Figure 11: Diagram of the System Control

Figure 11 shows the control diagram where the performance of the positioning system is shown in which logic programming PIC is defined. The basis for the positioning control of the collector is zenith and azimuth angles of the sun. From these angles a proportional integral control [21] was implemented [19], due to a quick response from the system, reducing the steady-state error, overshoot and noise [21], [22]. With the input angle, the microcontroller executes the programmed routine, allowing movement of the plant by the H Bridge and engines. To observe the position of the plant (collector), the system is fed by means of the signals from the accelerometer and magnetic compass. The solar tracker was designed to operate in two ways:

• Manual mode: In this option you can move the puck collector by pushbuttons.

Auto Mode: The disk rotates based on the position control. These modes of operation are displayed on a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). In the LCD menu is also possible to observe the time and angle values presented when manually calibrate the accelerometer.

V. CONSTRUCTION OF SOLAR TRACKER

The mechanical positioning system comprises a pulley ratio (1 to 10 in the "y" axis and 1 to 14 in the "x" axis), achieving a smooth movement of the engine, and reducing mechanical stress on the same.

The mechanisms of horizontal and vertical motion of the solar tracker are presented below:

vertical motion of the solar tracker are presented below: Figure 3: Parts of Solar tracker A.

Figure 3: Parts of Solar tracker

A. Verification and Performance Tests

From the tests conducted in solar tracking system, it was observed that the average consumption of the moto- redactor of the cimutal movement is 1.5 A (33 W) and the azimuthal motion 1 A (22 W). Similarly, to verify position control during the morning, it was observed that between 10 am to 2 pm the solar collector moved in an average of 37 °, which corresponds to the programmed into the microcontroller for these movements. Power consumption in this time slot was 59.19 Wh.

The following graph shows the behavior of the solar tracking system:

Figure 4: Theoretical and practical behavior of the solar tracking system According to the above

Figure 4: Theoretical and practical behavior of the solar tracking system

According to the above and based on the theoretical angles calculated, it was found that the average error in degrees was 6.8 %, as shown in Table VI.

TABLE VI THEORICAL AND PRACTICAL PERFORMANCE OF THE SOLAR TRACKING SYSTEM

 

10:0

11:0

12:0

   

0

0

0

1:00

2:00

Data / Time

a.m.

a.m.

p.m.

p.m.

p.m.

Theoretical data

         

(degrees)

60

75

87

75

60

Practical

         

information

(Grades))

57

69

75

67

55

Error (Degrees)

3

6

12

8

5

VI. DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEM

In the design of the data acquisition system the major variables involved in the operation of the prototype, such as temperature and disk position (x, y -axis) were determined.

Design Criteria data acquisition system

The data acquisition system consists of three elements, a system that reads and conditions the sensor signals, a communication system that sends information to the computer and a computational tool to visualize and evaluate the recorded information.

The

system are:

criteria

established

for

the

data

acquisition

• USB communication.

• Application programming language C #

• Sampling rate of 200ms.

• User- friendly Interface

• Storing data using an Excel file.

B. Selection of sensors

Initially the range of variation of environmental variables was defined and based on these the most suitable sensor was selected for each case, obtaining the elements (sensors - transducers) given in Table

VII.

TABLE VII SELECTED SENSORS TO THE RANGE TO MEASURE.

 

Variable

Range to be measure

Seleccionado

 

Sensor

Temperature

[0ºC-150ºC]

Sensor LM35DZ

[0ºC-350ºC]

Thermocoupla PT

100

Illuminance

[0

Lux-100

Sensor LX1972

Lux]

X

axis

[0º-180º]

Magnetic compass

Position

CMPS10

Y

Axle

[0º-90º]

Accelerometer

Position

MMA7361L

Once identified using sensors, simulation and assembly of signal conditioning system was made according to the recommended circuits in datasheet to check the operation. Similarly, the operation of the pic was simulated. Based on the work routine and scheduled task sequence

C. Construction of the data acquisition system

After having clear these design criteria , the Visual Studio 2008 software was selected with the complement of Measurement Studio Plug ( National Instruments software tool ) to make the application, because it allows to program in the C# language, has a friendly graphical interface , contains different types of libraries, tools and test and measurement applications. Also, in this process the USB communication with the microcontroller was established by the HID protocol, which takes advantage of modern operating systems, because it does not require the installation of drivers for USB communication with the microcontroller.

Finally the design of the graphical interface was made and the application was programmed in C # programming language, considering conversions and equations required for the application (temperature, position angles, brightness, etc.).

This application allows displaying in real time of the temperature (internal and external) and the angle position of the collector as shown in Figure 14.

the angle position of the collector as shown in Figure 14. Figura 2: Graphical user interface

Figura 2: Graphical user interface of the application in Visual Studio (C #)

Then the location of the elements of the parabolic disk solar type collector and the electronic circuit developed for the system is presented.

electronic circuit developed for the system is presented. Figure 15: Location of the elements of the

Figure 15: Location of the elements of the prototype

Figure 15: Location of the elements of the prototype Figure 16: Developed electronic cards for the
Figure 15: Location of the elements of the prototype Figure 16: Developed electronic cards for the

Figure 16: Developed electronic cards for the

power stages and control of the

prototype

VII. PERFORMANCE TESTING

The prototype function tests were performed in the Ricaurte neighbourhood in Bogotá from the month of January 2013 The schedule selected was the interval between 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, because this time offers the best conditions of solar radiation in Bogotá.

During testing the operation of data acquisition system, the temperature measurement system and the positioning control of the disk along the two axes was verified.

The following graphs show the behavior of the temperature in the focus of the collector in the most representative tests.

In the test carried out on March 26 (Figure 17), the temperature reached by the container placed at the focus is displayed. The maximum temperature reached was 138.22 ° C. The values presented in the graph correspond to the data stored by the data

acquisition program, which are updated every 30 seconds.

acquisition program, which are updated every 30 seconds. Figure 17: Temperature measurement in focus. March 26

Figure 17: Temperature measurement in focus. March 26

In the test on April 3 (Figure 18), the maximum temperature obtained occurred at 10:33 reaching 144.8 ° C; however, the temperature was affected by cloud cover. A sudden cloud cover increased markedly decreased temperature, decreasing to 26.13 º C in 18 minutes. This indicates that although the device allows for high temperature, the environmental conditions do not allow taking advantage of the radiation properly, so it is not a technology that can be implemented in Bogotá.

it is not a technology that can be implemented in Bogotá. Figure 18: Temperature measurement in

Figure 18: Temperature measurement in the focus. April 3

VIII. THERMAL ANALYSIS OF RESULTS

According to the tests, the maximum temperature obtained with the parabolic dish type solar collector was 144.8 ° C. Based on calculations, the theoretical expected temperature was 161.97 ° C; the above it follows that the error rate is 10.6 %. This error may be due to the small spaces between the steel sheets hub disc, causing the diversion of some rays out of focus.

A. Heat losses in the receiver as a function of

temperature

Assuming a constant environmental temperature of 20 º C, constant air temperature and speed, average direct radiation of 826.68 W/m2 (This corresponds to an average of direct radiation in the Chapinero neighborhood) and based on data temperature reached in the test, it was observed that the heat losses in the receiver will increase with increasing temperature (increasing the amount of energy radiated or transferred to the environment because of the temperature difference) thereon. Such behavior may be observed in Figure 19:

thereon. Such behavior may be observed in Figure 19: Figure 19: Heat losses in the receiver

Figure 19: Heat losses in the receiver depending on the temperature in the same

B. Useful

temperature in the receiver.

energy

delivered

depending

on

the

Now to calculate the useful energy, it appears that this behaves inversely to heat losses in the receiver; increasing temperature decreases the useful energy. Such behavior may be observed in Figure 20.

useful energy. Such behavior may be observed in Figure 20. Figure 20: Useful energy delivered as

Figure 20: Useful energy delivered as a function of the temperature in the receiver

C. Instantaneous thermal efficiency depending on the temperature of the receiver.

However, the variation of the slope with respect to the useful energy (Figure 21) is not significant was verified by analyzing results, the instantaneous thermal efficiency of the system is proportional to the useful energy delivered.

the system is proportional to the useful energy delivered. Figure 21: Instantaneous thermal efficiency depending on

Figure 21: Instantaneous thermal efficiency depending on the temperature in the focus

D. Thermal energy estimated from the records of solar radiation

In order to estimate the amount of energy that could be harnessed in a day, records of direct radiation between 8 am and 3:20 pm were used. The energy in this time interval is equivalent to the area under the curve of the graph of sunlight (Figure 22).

area under the curve of the graph of sunlight (Figure 22). Figure 22: Thermal energy estimated

Figure 22: Thermal energy estimated from the records of solar radiation

From Figure 22, it is estimated that the energy for a day is 6.1 kWh/m2. Assuming that the thermal efficiency of the system is constant (48.5 %), and taking into account the opening area of the collector,

you can set the amount of thermal energy in a day is 5.21 kWh.

IX. CONCLUSIONS

- The theoretical thermal efficiency calculated instantaneous solar concentrator is 48.5 % and the optical efficiency is 49 %, which allows contemplating the conversion of thermal energy into electricity by means of this system.

- With the highest temperature recorded during the

test (144.8°C) in the prototype, the proper geometrical design and proper selection of materials, which together allow to obtain a suitable concentration factor

and a significant temperature, close to the values was verified expected (161.97 °C) .

- During testing, comparative verifying theoretical

calculations were performed with respect to the expected values recorded, resulting in a 10.6 % error in temperature with an approximate average of 826.68 W/m2 direct radiations.

- The instant system thermal efficiency is proportional to the useful energy delivered, but the variation of the slope relative to the useful power is not significant.

- The positioning system disc collector by means of

equations is appropriate because it provides a good

system performance and no significant deviations.

- With peak temperature (114.8 ° C) and the steam

produced, it is possible the coupling of a steam turbine

for converting thermal energy to electricity.

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