Concentrated Solar - Implementation of Small Scale Parabolic Trough Heliostat
AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleConcentrated Solar - Implementation of Small Scale Parabolic Trough Heliostat
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AbstractThis project aims to create a small scale, low-cost concentrated solar parabolic trough system to further research into renewable energy technologies at the University of Southern Indiana. This system uses a reflective mylar film bonded to a Lexan substrate as a cost-effective solution to traditional glass mirrors. 3D modeling is used to develop a plywood base and parabolic frame. Computer aided manufacturing is used with a computer navigated control router to produce most of the components that are needed. The control system is a novel design that uses light dependent resistors, 3D printing, and an Arduino embedded system to track the sun throughout the day. Mechanical rotation is provided by a stepper motor and worm gearbox. The system was successful in automatically tracking the sun with an average tracking error of 0.655◦ ± 0.1◦. The system also had a maximum temperature of 394◦ F with an average temperature of 290.3◦ using air as a heat transfer fluid. However, these temperature results only provide a baseline, as a true thermodynamic analysis would need to consider fluid dynamics. Additionally, delamination of the reflective film is expected in this system in the future. More research and experimentation is needed to provide a better solution for bonding of the reflective mylar film to a substrate. This project was successful in providing a platform for other senior design projects in renewable energy systems for the future.
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- Creative Commons