The Two-Stage Solar Concentrator (TSSC) Project is setup in collaboration with Lunenburg Foundry & Engineering Limited, Lunenburg Nova Scotia, Canada and Fourth Partner Energy, Nacharam, Hyderabad, India as industrial partners and Department of Mechanical Engineering, BVRIT as research partner.
Concentrating solar power technologies (CSP) use solar beam radiation and concentrating it several times to reach higher energy densities, thus higher temperatures are obtained when the radiation is absorbed by some material surface. The CSP technology has the potential to power a green and Carbon free future. All of CSP projects employ either parabolic troughs or solar towers and the operating temperatures achieved are in the range of 350-5500C.
TSSC is a third type of concentrated solar power technology and it produces high temperatures (range between 10000C -13000C) due to the focus of sunlight using dual mirror system most efficiently. These high temperatures have the potential for many different applications such as melting metals in a casting facility, generating steam to turn turbines for power generation and desalination. The advantages of two-stage solar concentrator over parabolic troughs and solar towers are simple in construction, high overall efficiency, occupies less area and generates much higher temperatures than solar troughs. Also the two-stage concentrator is portable and can be more easily scaled for other industrial applications like air-conditioning and refrigeration, pumping irrigation water, desalination and hot water production for large swimming pool.
Research to be carried at BVRIT:
Installation of TSSC:
The two-stage Solar Concentrator consists of three separate assembly streams namely Primary Mirror, Secondary Mirror and Base. The two mirrors are used to trap solar energy and convert that energy in to high temperature.
The table base consists of a steel base plate which is firmly fixed to the ground, a slew drive which will rotate the entire system horizontally, a slew drive spacer designed to raise the slew drive to the appropriate height, 6 casters designed to balance the entire system, an aluminum base plate, packing label, which connects the slew drive to the Yoke structure.
Primary mirror is the major part of the equipment, it is a concave shaped mirror made with steel (acrylic coated). It has very high reflectivity; it traps solar rays and directs them towards the secondary mirror. It has very large surface area to absorb large amount of energy and it is fitted to the frame on the both sides, which can rotate, move up and down with the help of hydraulic actuators.
The yoke consists of the beam tube, two uprights, four gusset plates to connect the beam tube and uprights, and two bearings located at the top of the uprights. The boom assembly can be mounted to the yoke using the provided bolt/pin through the matching bearings on the boom and at the top of the yoke assembly.
To lock the booms structures in place, and prevent undesired rotation the linear actuators are provided. A control panel where all the movements of the parts are programmed is used to rotate the system manually as well as automatic in azimuth and transitional directions to track the sun altitude change.
Temperature Study:Temperature studies are to be conducted with respect to operational time of the device (8 A.M to 6 P. M) using K-type thermocouples with ceramic casing. A two point temperature digital indicator with 1 degree resolution is to be used to record the temperature.
Applications:We are planning to develop the following applications with the Two-Stage Solar Concentrator.
- Melting of metals
- Generating steam to produce power
- Pumping irrigation water