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Construction and Testing of Lightweight and Low-Cost Pneumatically Inflated Solar Concentrators


Affiliations
1 Instituto de Fisica, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Avenida Manuel Nava 6, 78290 San Luis Potosi, SLP, Mexico
2 Laboratorio Nacional de la Coordinacion para la Innovacion y la Aplicacion de la Ciencia y la Tecnologia, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Sierra Leona 550, 78210 San Luis Potosi, SLP, Mexico
3 Universidad Tecnologica de Queretaro, Avenida Pie de la Cuesta No. 2501, Unidad Nacional, 76148 Queretaro, QRO, Mexico
 

Design, construction, and evaluation of a cylindrical-trough solar concentrator with 1.3m aperture, 2.15m length, and 0.54m focal length, with heat-pipe or vacuum tube receiver and one axis tracking system, are presented. Design performance was tested under ASHRAE standard 93-1986 (RA 91). The concentrator system is lightweight and inexpensive since it was made of polymeric membranes and was pneumatically inflated to acquire its cylindrical shape achieving good optical quality. Further implementation of a flat and a cylindrical extension of the concentrating mirror as secondary mirrors was incorporated into the concentrator design in order to compensate for seasonal variations of collected radiation. Total initial investment of $163.30 or $58.5/m2 and efficiencies ranging from 33 to 25%for 25 up to 65°C show an excellent cost-performance ratio. Construction, costs, and efficiencies obtained by us and developed by other groups are compared to emphasize the high cost/benefit ratio and efficiencies of this approach.
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  • Construction and Testing of Lightweight and Low-Cost Pneumatically Inflated Solar Concentrators

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Authors

F. M. I. De Los Santos-Garcia
Instituto de Fisica, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Avenida Manuel Nava 6, 78290 San Luis Potosi, SLP, Mexico
Y. Nahmad-Molinari
Instituto de Fisica, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Avenida Manuel Nava 6, 78290 San Luis Potosi, SLP, Mexico
J. Nieto-Navarro
Laboratorio Nacional de la Coordinacion para la Innovacion y la Aplicacion de la Ciencia y la Tecnologia, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Sierra Leona 550, 78210 San Luis Potosi, SLP, Mexico
C. Alanis-Ruiz
Instituto de Fisica, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Avenida Manuel Nava 6, 78290 San Luis Potosi, SLP, Mexico
Felipe Patino-Jimenez
Universidad Tecnologica de Queretaro, Avenida Pie de la Cuesta No. 2501, Unidad Nacional, 76148 Queretaro, QRO, Mexico

Abstract


Design, construction, and evaluation of a cylindrical-trough solar concentrator with 1.3m aperture, 2.15m length, and 0.54m focal length, with heat-pipe or vacuum tube receiver and one axis tracking system, are presented. Design performance was tested under ASHRAE standard 93-1986 (RA 91). The concentrator system is lightweight and inexpensive since it was made of polymeric membranes and was pneumatically inflated to acquire its cylindrical shape achieving good optical quality. Further implementation of a flat and a cylindrical extension of the concentrating mirror as secondary mirrors was incorporated into the concentrator design in order to compensate for seasonal variations of collected radiation. Total initial investment of $163.30 or $58.5/m2 and efficiencies ranging from 33 to 25%for 25 up to 65°C show an excellent cost-performance ratio. Construction, costs, and efficiencies obtained by us and developed by other groups are compared to emphasize the high cost/benefit ratio and efficiencies of this approach.