Proceedings PaperPrinciples Of The Fixed Mirror Solar Concentrator
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A new concept for a fixed-mirror solar concentrator is described. The fixed, stepped surface of the proposed cylindrical mirror is designed to produce a sharply focused line image regardless of the incident sun direction. This is in contrast with the severe off-axis aberration (hence, poor concentration factor) of a parabolic mirror for all sun directions other than on-axis. It is shown that 1) the heat absorber follows a circular path to remain in the focus as the sun moves, 2) the annual light losses from self-shadowing of the "stepped structure of the mirror surface can amount to less than %in for appropriate mirror orientation, 3) by facing the mirror in a southerly direction in the northern hemisphere) , the winter deficit in sun input can be significantly compensated, and 4) practical concentration factors of around 50 can be achieved with a single stage of concentration, 80 with a second stage of concentration.