A Unique Series of Solar Concentrators - the 4th and 5th Generation 'Square Dish'

    ABSTRACT

    A series of ‘Square Dish’ solar concentrators have been built during the past 15 years. All these point focus collectors use rows of large mirror panels on pivoted beams, 2 of which span the width of the collector, and are tilted to suit the elevation of the sun. In recent designs, the 4th and 5th generations, the moving structure rotates about a polar axis through its centre of gravity, thus a 300 m2 collector requires only 50 W of power to follow the sun. During peak performance 0.86 of the incident energy was converted to steam at 260°C and 5 MPa, while the average performance delivered 0.81 into the steam. These collectors produce steam for less than the cost of steam from a gas-fired bailer. One version focuses into a stationary absorber such as a steam super-heater, a large heat store with a heat exchanger, or a reaction chamber for high temperature chemical reactions such as reforming of fuels or the destruction of chemical waste.

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