Multiple Parabolic Trough Solar Collector for Heating Working Fluid
Solar energy collecting devices frequently use focusing lenses or reflectors to intensify the energy of the sun. Some collecting devices directly convert the solar energy to electrical energy using a photovoltaic array. Other collecting devices use the solar energy to heat a circulating working fluid. The device we have created at Florida State University may be adapted to either type of collecting device, as well as other types.
The invention comprises a solar collector incorporating multiple parabolic troughs and a moving array of collector pipes which moves in order to keep the collector pipes in the focus of the troughs as the sun moves across the sky. The collector does not use conventional azimuth tracking; instead, the trough reflector remains static while the collecting device is moved across the face of the trough reflector with the shifting focal zone. The present invention moves the collective device so that it remains within the shifting focus as the sun moves.
The multiple parabolic reflector flat plate collectors use solar radiation to heat a working fluid up to 120 degrees Celsius at pressures exceeding 5 bar. Our invention reaches temperatures above other systems under the same conditions.