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Journal of Solar Energy
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 326536, 10 pages
Research Article

Ray Tracing Study of Optical Characteristics of the Solar Image in the Receiver for a Thermal Solar Parabolic Dish Collector

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Energetics and Process Technique, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia

Received 15 June 2015; Revised 2 September 2015; Accepted 27 September 2015

Academic Editor: Santanu Bandyopadhyay

Copyright © 2015 Saša R. Pavlovic and Velimir P. Stefanovic. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study presents the geometric aspects of the focal image for a solar parabolic concentrator (SPC) using the ray tracing technique to establish parameters that allow the designation of the most suitable geometry for coupling the SPC to absorber-receiver. The efficient conversion of solar radiation into heat at these temperature levels requires a use of concentrating solar collectors. In this paper detailed optical design of the solar parabolic dish concentrator is presented. The system has diameter  mm and focal distance  mm. The parabolic dish of the solar system consists of 11 curvilinear trapezoidal reflective petals. For the construction of the solar collectors, mild steel-sheet and square pipe were used as the shell support for the reflecting surfaces. This paper presents optical simulations of the parabolic solar concentrator unit using the ray tracing software TracePro. The total flux on the receiver and the distribution of irradiance for absorbing flux on center and periphery receiver are given. The goal of this paper is to present the optical design of a low-tech solar concentrator that can be used as a potentially low cost tool for laboratory scale research on the medium-temperature thermal processes, cooling, industrial processes, polygeneration systems, and so forth.