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Ray-tracing software comparison for linear focusing solar collectors

: Osório, T.; Horta, P.; Larcher, M.; Pujol-Nadal, R.; Hertel, J.; Rooyen, W. van de; Heimsath, A.; Schneider, S.; Benitez, D.; Frein, A.; Denarie, A.


Rajpaul, Vikesh (Ed.):
21st SolarPACES International Conference, SolarPACES 2015. Proceedings : 13-16 October 2015, Cape Town, South Africa
New York, N.Y.: AIP Press, 2016 (AIP Conference Proceedings 1734)
ISBN: 978-0-7354-1386-3
Art. 020017, 9 S.
International Conference on Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems (SolarPACES) <21, 2015, Cape Town>
Fraunhofer ISE ()

Ray-Tracing software tools have been widely used in the optical design of solar concentrating collectors. In spite of the ability of these tools to assess the geometrical and material aspects impacting the optical performance of concentrators, their use in combination with experimental measurements in the framework of collector testing procedures as not been implemented, to the date, in none of the current solar collector testing standards. In the latest revision of ISO9806 an effort was made to include linear focusing concentrating collectors but some practical and theoretical difficulties emerged. A Ray-Tracing analysis could provide important contributions to overcome these issues, complementing the experimental results obtained through thermal testing and allowing the achievement of more thorough testing outputs with lower experimental requirements. In order to evaluate different available software tools a comparison study was conducted. Taking as representative technologies for line-focus concentrators the Parabolic Trough Collector and the Linear Fresnel Reflector Collector, two exemplary cases with predefined conditions – geometry, sun model and material properties – were simulated with different software tools. This work was carried out within IEA/SHC Task 49 “Solar Heat Integration in Industrial Processes”.