Compact Linear Fresnel Solar Collector
Mathew Brougham-Cook, BEng (Mechanical) graduate, 2023
Study leader: Mr Matthew Meas
Compact linear Fresnel reflectors (CLFRs) are a relatively new and underexplored linear Fresnel reflector concept in which the reflectors may be independently aimed at one of multiple collector tubes. There is scant evidence of practical implementations of the CLFR design, however, preliminary investigations indicate potential for reductions in blocking and shading, which can reduce system footprint and increase optical efficiency compared to traditional beam-up systems.
A small-scale CLFR system was designed, built, and tested at the solar rooftop laboratory. Various analytical and computational methods were used to develop the array of independently actuated reflectors, the trapezoidal collectors and tubular absorbers, the open loop tracking system, and a support structure, fluid system, and data acquisition system. The system shows promise in terms of its initial thermal efficiency, small (2 m x 2 m x 2 m) footprint and low cost.
The system was designed with adjustability of the reflectors and collectors in mind, to facilitate future alterations and improvements with relative ease. In addition, the cubic form factor was chosen to potentially allow the installation of additional of modules in the future. Ultimately, the project has demonstrated the practicality of the CLFR concept in one of the first successful implementations, with the data acquired adding to the emergent repository.