The concept of a cavity absorber for use with a focusing parabolic trough is developed in this paper. A mathematical model is formulated and used to compare different absorber geometries. Limitations of the model are discussed and within the range of materials and fabrication methods available, the choice of a cylindrical cavity is substantiated. Relative sizes of the gap and cylinder are chosen for a given mirror arc length, focal length, and alignment error. The model is used to optimize these parameters and predict absorber and collector efficiency. The processes of building and testing the absorber are detailed, and test results are reported. Observed performance is significantly below that predicted. Mirror alignment errors are considered the most likely reason for the discrepancy. Other possible improvements to the experiment are suggested.
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Beck, James K.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Crapo, Andrew W., "A Cavity Absorber for a Focusing Solar Collector" (1980). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 474.