Known Parabolic Dish Systems

In the late 1970s, Omnium-G, Inc. designed a parabolic dish collector system that would run a steam engine. The parabolic dish was 6 meters (20 feet) in diameter and was constructed from panels of polyurethane foam with a reflecting surface of anodized

aluminum [11]. The receiver for the system was of the cavity type and used a single coil of stainless steel tubing buried in molten aluminum inside of an Inconel housing. The aluminum was used as a type of latent heat storage and to provide uniform heat distribution and thermal storage once melted. The aperture of the receiver was 200mm (8 inches) in diameter, thus giving a geometric concentration ratio of 900...

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Historical Perspective of Solar Thermal Power and Process Heat

Records date as far back as 1774 for attempts to harness the sun’s energy for power production. The first documented attempt is that of the French chemist Lavoisier and the English scientist Joseph Priestley when they developed the theory of combustion by concentrating the rays of the sun on a test tube for gas collection [1]. Figure 1.1 shows an illustration of the solar concentration device used by Lavoisier.

Figure 1.1: Solar furnace used by Lavoisier in 1774. (Courtesy of Bibliotheque
Nationale de Paris. Lavoisier, Oeuvres, vol. 3.) [10]

About a century later, in 1878, a small solar power plant was exhibited at the World’s Fair in Paris (Figure 1.2). This solar power plant consisted of a parabolic

reflector that focused sunlight onto a steam boiler located at the focus, thus produci...

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1.1 Introduction

Even in today’s world market, with all of the vast technology advancements and improvements, there are still people who live in darkness at night and use candle light or kerosene lamps to study. These people have the knowledge that electricity exists; however, the area in which they reside lacks the infrastructure and resources for such an amenity. Also, throughout the world, the demand for useable energy is increasing rapidly, with electricity being the energy of choice. This electricity production, however, does not come free. There is cost associated with the infrastructure for setting up new power production facilities and the rising cost and lack of natural resources such as oil, coal, and natural gas...

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