Solar thermal electric power and industrial process heat systems may require a constant outlet temperature from the collector field. This constant temperature is most efficiently maintained by adjusting the circulating fluid flow rate. Successful tuning of analog or digital controllers requires a knowledge of system dynamics. Models relating deviations in outlet temperature to changes in inlet temperature, insolation, and fluid flow rate illustrate the basic responses and the distributed-parameter nature of line-focus collectors. When plotted in dimensionless form, the frequency response of a given collector is essentially independent of the operating conditions, suggesting that feedback controller settings are directly related to such easily determined quantities as collector gain and fluid residence time.

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