Solar Thermal Collectors at High Latitudes : Design and performance of non-tracking concentrators

Sammanfattning: Solar thermal collectors at high latitudes have been studied, with emphasis on concentrating collectors. A novel design of concentrating collector, the Maximum Reflector Collector (MaReCo), especially designed for high latitudes, has been investigated optically and thermally. The MaReCo is an asymmetrical compound parabolic concentrator with a bi-facial absorber. The collector can be adapted to various installation conditions, for example stand-alone, roof- or wall mounted. MaReCo prototypes have been built and outdoor-tested. The evaluation showed that all types work as expected and that the highest annually delivered energy output, 340 kWh/m2, is found for the roof MaReCo. A study of the heat-losses from the stand-alone MaReCo lead to the conclusion that teflon transparent insulation should be placed around the absorber, which decreases the U-value by about 30%. A method was developed to theoretically study the projected radiation distribution incident on the MaReCo bi-facial absorber. The study showed that the geometry of the collectors could be improved by slight changes in the acceptance intervals. It also indicated that the MaReCo design concept could be used also at mid-European latitudes if the geometry is changed. A novel method was used to perform outdoor measurements of the distribution of concentrated light on the absorber and then to calculate the annually collected zero-loss energy, Ea,corr, together with the annual optical efficiency factor. A study using this method indicated that the absorber should be mounted along the 20º optical axis instead of along the 65º optical axis, which leads to an increase of about 20% in Ea,corr. The same absorber mounting is suggested from heat loss measurements. The Ea,corr at 20º absorber mounting angle can be increased by 5% if the absorber fin thickness is changed from 0.5 to 1 mm and by 13% if two 71.5 mm wide fins are used instead of one that is 143 mm wide. If the Ea,corr for the standard stand-alone MaReCo with 143 mm wide absorber mounted at 65º is compared to that of a collector with a 71.5 mm wide absorber mounted at 20º, the theoretical increase is 38%.