San Diego State University - Minds That Move the World

Solar Energy

SDSU ME Senior Projects: Solar Trough Collector

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SPRING 2008 - FALL 2008

Solar TroughSince huge curved custom-made low-lead glass imported mirrors were the highest cost components of recently built commercial solar trough power plants, it was postulated that less expensive curved mirrors could be made of alternative materials. The reflectivity of highly polished stainless steel, reflective film, and chrome powder coat were tested in a free-standing solar trough collector designed and built with removable reflectors. It concentrated the sun’s energy 26 times onto a water filled central pipe, the absorber. Short tests in equilibrium conditions measured temperature gain in the water. San Diego State University students Akasha Kaur Khalsa and Donald DeAndrade completed this project in the senior design class advised by Dr. Robert Mates. The project sponsor was American Public Power Association, with Anaheim Public Utilities administering the DEED scholarship. Many thanks for advice and donations from Butler Sun Solutions and Quatro Composites.