Abstract

Two principal approaches to lowering solar concentrator costs are through improved geometry (lower profile, simpler shape), and through simplified methods to make concentrator substrates. The paper discusses issues relating to fabrication of solar concentrator mirrors from inexpensive elastically bent float glass mirrors. Protection from hail damage by a novel shock absorbing back layer is presented. New low-profile concentrator geometry is presented which utilize the low-cost mirror substrates. One new geometry uses a stationary cylindrical reflector with novel arc-motion tracking absorber that appears suitable for mid-sized thermal applications. Another uses the cylindrical mirror with an azimuth-elevation tracking mechanism appears to be suitable for small-scale applications. To get even higher concentration, some low-cost secondary designs are briefly discussed which use refractive tubes or lenses as secondary concentrating elements.

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