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A Lab in the Sun! Frank R. Leslie, B.S.E.E., M.S. Space Technology, LS IEEE 3/8/2006 Solar Concentrator Research Facility --- A Path to Hydrogen Production.

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Presentation on theme: "A Lab in the Sun! Frank R. Leslie, B.S.E.E., M.S. Space Technology, LS IEEE 3/8/2006 Solar Concentrator Research Facility --- A Path to Hydrogen Production."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Lab in the Sun! Frank R. Leslie, B.S.E.E., M.S. Space Technology, LS IEEE 3/8/2006 Solar Concentrator Research Facility --- A Path to Hydrogen Production

2 1. Abstract Objective of providing high temperature materials and chemical reactor Goals Water purification Hydrogen production Demonstrate solar concentrator science Cost (1/27/2005 est.) Hardware $800 Student Stipends $220 Misc.$180 Est. Total $1200 3/8/2005FRL Abstract Paraboloidal reflector can achieve ~3000°F at focus Facility for high temperature materials testing and chemical reactors for water purification and H 2 production Provides student interaction with high temperature solar system Shared by various Florida Tech colleges and the Hydrogen Center

3 2. Background Ten-foot C-band satellite dish was available after hurricane Frank Leslie visited Sandia National Thermal Laboratory ~1990 and saw concentrators Adding reflective material over original steel mesh will produce a nonimaging concentrated spot of ~600 suns intensity 3/8/2005FRL Background Paraboloidal reflector concentrates solar energy - Sandia - France - Egypt: 1903 at Meadi - Solar Tower: Albuquerque NM molten salt - Solar One: Barstow CA molten salt - Solar Two: Barstow CA thermal oil

4 3. Research Facility Modify C-band satcom reflector to develop inexpensive research and educational solar facility Disseminate construction plans at fee for other scientific uses 1/27/2005FRL Research Facility Photos by F. Leslie, 2005 Al foil simulation

5 3.1 Concentrator Characteristics Diameter: 10 ft Area: 78.5 sq ft Typical Insolation: 1000 watts/m Concentration Ratio = 78.5ft 2 / ft 2 = Reflectivity = 83% Effective Concentration Ratio = Focal Distance = ~40 inches Trailer mounted to move to experimenter or to public events 3/8/2005FRL

6 18 gores or wedges 4. Paraboloidal Surface Existing ribs enforce parabolic shape on panels Forms nonimaging spot focus ~1/2 to 1” diameter (TBD) Concentrates heat in receiver to produce high temperature Test with mirrored strip showed a 1/2 inch spot size 3/82005FRL Paraboloidal Surface 18” Slide-in expanded metal mesh Cover with aluminum foil sprayed with clear automotive coat Better approach is to use Alanod 410G mirror aluminum sheets with a reflectivity of 83% in place of the mesh ~60”

7 5. Polar/Equatorial Mount (conceptual trailer mount) Support axis pipe tipped at latitude angle Manual turnbuckle adjustments tilt dish in N-S declination for seasonal changes Upgrade to servo desirable Elevates to 90 degrees for high wind minimum drag resistance Right ascension tracking drives motor at 15.04°/hour to follow sun Photosensor aids tracking Jack Stands (4) 1/31/2005FRL Polar Mount 28° Linear actuator Plywood bed South Trailer Tongue to right

8 6. Polar Drive Linear actuator tracks sun through photosensor servo Manual controls for service: off, run, tilt east, tilt west, vertical Steel on lubricated steel pivot pipe for sun tracking (slow mover) Declination adjusted “on occasion”; 3-5 (TBR) week interval? Add declination servo 1/31/2005FRL Polar Drive Polar Axis Right Ascension Actuator

9 7. Absorber Mount ½” galv. iron pipes from rim support the central absorber frame Focus is ~40 inches from back of dish Support pipes can carry fluid Air, water, steam Insulated to reduce loss Various receivers/ absorbers mount to frame with bolts; three to start 1/31/2005FRL Absorber Mount Fluid can pass through upper & lower pipes

10 8. Receivers/Absorbers Metal receivers quickly bolt to frame Fluid connections to absorber as needed Width of frame is larger than hot spot to reduce connection heating Frame and receiver are small to limit ray blocking on reflector Approximately 50% larger than a C-band antenna feed horn 1/31/2005FRL Absorbers Frame (3) Iron pipes Frame width about 50% larger than focal spot of ~1/2 inch

11 9. Absorber Types Flat plate thermal testing Water ultraviolet purification studies Steam boiler engine drive Water dissociation for hydrogen research Focus is on plate surface or midway plane of box Mounting sets focal plane 1/31/2005FRL Absorber Types Flat Steel or Ceramic Plate Pyrex Glass Front All steel box Steel Box Copper Coil

12 10. Research Elsewhere High temperature concentrator research usually done at national labs Satcom dish reuse offers an inexpensive way to do solar thermal testing Potential facility for local science teachers (outreach potential) 1/312005FRL Research Elsewhere Sandia Nat’l Labs, NM FSEC 1990s Univ. of Sidney, Australia NASA

13 11. Construction Development Plans Preliminary design Cost the project Seek funding Determine location Build support structure and mount reflector Enlist faculty and student support Refine design 1/27/2005FRL Construction Plans Preliminary Design Budget Cost Construction Refine Design Seek Funding Enlist Support

14 What’s Needed to Make it Work Encouragement Funding Steel pipe, trailer, electronics, drive motor, reflective material, coatings, labor costs, etc. Location In sun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Away from falling tree limbs, high winds, etc. Convenient to main campus researchers and students Visible to campus tours as impressive facility Transportable for public events and school displays 3/8/2005FRL

15 How We Will Achieve This Preliminary design Determine various locations Site survey for sun access Fabricate polar axis tube and mount Laminate reflective material to mesh gores Mount drive assembly to reflector Build and install receiver assembly Install and test tracking servo(s) Run initial tests 3/8/2005FRL

16 12. References General: Boyle, Godfrey. Renewable Energy: Second Edition. Open University, Thermal Testing:  Duffie, John and William A. Beckman. Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes. NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 920 pp., 1991 Thermal Energy Conversion:  Duffie, John and William A. Beckman. Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes. NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 920 pp., 1991 Water Purification: Water Dissociation for Hydrogen Production: 1/27/2005FRL

17 13. Websites General: Thermal Testing: Thermal Energy Conversion: Australian National University Water Purification: Water Dissociation for Hydrogen Production: Australia 1/31/2005FRL


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