Design and development of symmetric reflective compound parabolic concentrator (SRCPC) for power generation
Naman, Garry Zamani
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This thesis presents a detailed design, simulation, optical performance, construction and experimental validation carried out on a novel non-imaging static symmetric reflective compound parabolic concentrator (SRCPC). By considering the seasonal variation of the sun’s position, a concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) system with precise acceptance angle and low concentrating ratio will be an ideal alternative to conventional flat plate photovoltaic (PV) modules in harvesting the power from the sun. The SRCPC is a suitable choice well designed to achieve optimum precise acceptance angles and concentration ratio for this purpose. The optical performance theory study shows that a truncated symmetric reflective CPC with acceptance half-angles of 0° and 10° (termed as SRCPC-10) is the optimum design when compared with the symmetric reflective CPC designs with acceptance half-angles of 0° and 15° and 0° and 20° in Penryn and higher latitudes. An increase in the range of acceptance angles decreases the concentration ratio but an increase in the range of acceptance angles is achieved by truncating the concentrator profile which will reduce its cost as well. Ray tracing simulations indicates that the SRCPC-10 exhibited the maximum optical efficiency and steady slope compared with others. The simulated maximum optical efficiency of the SRCPC was found to be 94%. In addition, the SRCPC-10 was found to have a more uniform intensity distribution at the receiver and a total daily-monthly energy collection compared to the other designs. Thermal modelling of the CPV system with the SRCPC-10 concentrator shows that the solar cell operating temperature can reach up to 70°C for irradiance of 1000W/m2 at an ambient temperature of 25° at a wind velocity of 2.5m/s. The integration of the thermal management system is able to control and maintain the temperature to 29°C. The modelled thermal and electrical efficiencies were 47% and 15% respectively with a heat transfer coefficient of 54.29W/m2K thereby bringing the system efficiency to 62%. The maximum power of the SRCPC-10 when characterised in an indoor controlled environment using solar simulator was 5.96W at 1000W/m2 at a cooling flow rate of 0.0079L/s with average conversion efficiency of 8.97%. The maximum power at 1200W/m2 and 0.031L/s was 7.14W with conversion efficiency of 10.57%. The maximum increase in efficiency from non-cooling to cooling is 2.54%. The efficiency increased because of cooling is relatively 40%. The outdoor characterisation (validation) of the SRCPC-10 shows that the maximum power was 7.4W at 1206W/m2 on a sunny day. The maximum electrical conversion efficiency of the SRCPC-10 in outdoor conditions was found to be 10.96%. These results revealed that this designed SRCPC-10 is capable of collecting both direct and diffuse radiation to generate power. Therefore, the SRCPC-10 could be used to provide a solution to the increasing demand on electricity to the energy mix, leaving a clean environment for future developments.