This study describes preliminary optical analysis performed regarding a new collector called the Point Focus Fresnel Concentrator (PFFC). This collector combines the concepts of the linear Fresnel collector and central receiver systems to form a new concept of a focal point Fresnel concentrator with a dual-axis sun tracking system. It concentrates direct solar radiation using a number of flat mirrors positioned over a rotating frame. The frame tracks the sun in the azimuth direction, while each row of mirrors tracks the sun in the elevation direction, thereby allowing sunlight to be concentrated on the same point above the collector throughout the day. PFFC is considered suitable for a number of applications, such as power generation by concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) and Stirling engines, and process heat applications. In this study, the first attempt to characterize the optical performance of the collector is made. A prototype of the collector has already been built on the campus of King Saud University. It has a total footprint of 9 m2, and includes 900 mirrors, each of which is 7 cm × 7 cm. The receiver has a diameter of 10 cm. Optical performance is studied by ray tracing methods to obtain flux maps and intercept factors of the receiver. Results show that the average concentration ratio is in the order of 220 to 300 suns when mirrors with a 6-mrad optical error are used. For the same mirrors, the highest attainable average intercept factor (0.674) occurs in the winter due to the low particle loading in the atmosphere. When the optical error is reduced to 2 mrad, the average concentration ratio increases to 290 to 400 suns, and the average intercept factor increases to 0.892. In any case, if the current design of PFFC is to be used in conjunction with CPV, a secondary concentrator would be needed to achieve required concentration ratios in the order of 500 suns.

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