Experimental and simulation studies on a novel gravity based passive tracking system for a linear solar concentrating collector
Abstract A novel gravity based passive solar tracking mechanism; suitable to a linear solar concentrating collector has been conceptualized, developed, simulated, analyzed and tested experimentally. Attempt has been made to minimize the tracking load and error by controlling in dripping rate or filling rate of liquid in the gravity system. The identified key influencing design parameters in the proposed mechanism are sprocket wheel radius, spring stiffness and tracking radius. Large sprocket wheel, low stiff spring and small tracking radius minimizes the tracking loads. The recommended sprocket wheel radius and tracking wheel radius are 125 mm and 60 mm respectively. The simulation studies are validated with the experimental results. Practically obtained collector’s incidence angle is compared with the minimum required (theoretical) incidence and found a satisfactory match. The improvement in thermal efficiency of the collector with the proposed tracking mechanism has been highlighted by comparing the efficiency of intermittent tracking collector. Highlights A novel passive tracking mechanism. Suitability to linear solar concentrating collectors. Simple design, cost effective product and greater flexibility in design. Works independent of collector weight.
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