Proceedings PaperCurrent Status And Future Prospects Of Non-Tracking Solar Collectors
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The numerous potential applications of solar energy have been recognized widely for the past few decades. However, the sophisticated optical problems of an efficient collector, its integration with the overall system and the dominant economic constraints are not widely appreciated. This paper will briefly review the state-of-the-art of the non-tracking solar collectors with various performance criteria in mind. Also described in this paper are developments of some new components capable of producing high efficiency, lightweight and low cost non-tracking solar collectors. Windows with 'optical ribs' have been developed to yield high transmission, lightweight, ruggedness and efficient radiative and convective trapping. On the other hand, a new component termed 'optical valve' has been developed which is capable of transmitting the incident solar radiation and reflecting back to the absorber much of the emitted infrared radiation. Furthermore, an embossed absorber is shown to achieve almost complete absorption of solar radiation at large angles of incidence.