Solar concentrators utilize optical devices which absorb a large area of sunlight.They function on the idea of focusing a bundle of sunlight on a small area with the assistance of a mirror or optical equipment. In order to ensure that the solar concentrator works efficiently, they have to be placed in such a manner that it directly faces the sun.
To ensure that the solar concentrators can absorb maximum radiance during the day’s sunshine hours, there is a need for the concentrators to follow the sun. This can be achieved efficiently with the help of a tracker. Tracking can be of single axis which is from East to West and can also be from North to South so that the altering path of the sun can be tracked.
Types of solar concentrators
Flat plate concentrators with plane reflectors and adjustable mirrors
In this type of solar concentrators, the mirrors are used to reflect radiation to the absorber plate. It is quite simple in design and has a good concentration ratio. It is important to note that with a single collector, it is always possible to use four reflectors simultaneously.
Cylindrical parabolic collector
It is also known as the linear parabolic collector. In this type of collector, the primary emphasis is on the focal axis of the reflecting material. The absorber is usually made of copper or stainless steel and has a diameter of 3cm to 5cm.
Solar ray collector with a circular concentrator
It is a type of collector which has a moving receiver. In this type of concentrator, there are mirror strips that produce a narrow image which follows a circular path, the receiver moves along the circular way so that it can track the sun.
Parabolic Dish Collector
In this type of collector, the concentrator tracks the sun with the help of rotation along the two axes. The sun’s rays are brought to the primary focus. There exists a fluid which flows through the receiver, and this heat is used to drive a mover. The parabolic dish collectors can generate power in kilowatts.
Generic price of Solar Concentrators available in India
- Parabolic solar concentrators: Rs. 1 lakh per piece
- Commercial solar parabolic concentrator: Rs. 350 per piece
- Compound parabolic concentrator: Rs. 35000 per piece
- Parabolic trough solar energy collector: Rs. 25000 per piece
- Parabolic trough tech: Rs. 20000 per piece
Advantages of using solar concentrators
Here is the list of benefits of using the solar concentrators.
- It comes with the ability to increase the intensity of solar energy by concentrating the available energy over a large area on a smaller surface
- It assists in reducing the cost in a solar power generation system as it replaces an extensive and costly receiver with a less expensive reflecting area.
- The heat loss is drastically reduced.
- The temperature on the receiving area is quite high, a thermodynamic match can be achieved which augurs well for the overall efficiency of the solar power system
Solar concentrators have potential applications in both photovoltaic and thermal utilization. Stay tuned to our blog for more updates.