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Modeling and Simulation: the performance of parabolic trough collector in Mediterranean countries



The objective of this paper is the modeling of the functioning parameters of a parabolic trough concentrator, taken into account all heat transfer modes: the convection between (ambient / glass envelope) and (glass envelope / absorber); radiation between (glass envelope / absorber) and (glass envelope / sky); useful transfer between (absorber / fluid) and conduction at the ends. Moreover, solving the intensity of direct solar radiation considering two theories; the Bird and Hulstrom and the Capderou ones in relation to a horizontal plane in Mediterranean countries, with data recorded in North Algeria for the days: Equinoxes (Spring: March 21, Autumn: September 21) and Solstices (Summer: June 21, Winter: 21 December). The model is based on a two-dimensional analysis with the finite difference method treated with Matlab. Applied to this device, it consists in the discretization of the absorber, the glass envelope and the fluid in several segments. In this model, the derivation of the differential equations is replaced by algebraic equations. We show that for integration of parabolic trough concentrator, the Capderou theory is the most adapted to model the values of the turbidity factor of Linke for different monitoring systems. Moreover, results of simulation point out that the most desirable tracking systems are horizontal North-South and one-axis polar East-West throughout the year. Finally, the outlet temperatures of the fluid (water) on the selected region were found more or less important with a thermal efficiency of 61% to 75%.


Parabolic trough collector, Solar tracking, Mediterranean solar energy, Renewable energy, Heat transfer analysis

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