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Proceedings Paper

Optical Characterization Method For Concentrating Solar Collectors Using Reverse Illumination
Author(s): Keith Masterson; Harry Gaul
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents an optical method for checking overall alignment, aligning elements, identifying areas of extreme distor-tion, and determining receiver intercept factors of solar concentrators. The reverse illumination method is performed by viewing the concentrator on its optical axis and through a telescope located several kilometres away. A high visibility target or source placed at the focus is visible in the aperture of the concentrator. Portions of the aperture not filled by the image of the target are ineffective in concentrating the sun's energy on a receiver with the same dimensions as the target. The ob-server may instruct an assistant by radio to adjust the concentrator to optimize illumination and, hence, alignment. A fluorescent orange target works well during the day. At night, an illuminated, light-colored target enables one to obtain high contrast photographs. Image analysis of these records gives a quantitative measure of reflector alignment and intercept factor for the collector. This method is illustrated using results from two different parabolic dishes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 December 1981
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0288, Los Alamos Conf on Optics '81, (30 December 1981); doi: 10.1117/12.932091
Show Author Affiliations
Keith Masterson, Solar Energy Research Institute (United States)
Harry Gaul, Solar Innovations Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0288:
Los Alamos Conf on Optics '81
Donald H. Liebenberg, Editor(s)

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