Parabolic Trough Solar Concentrator

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Designing a parabolic trough solar concentrator requires specifying:

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• the collector aperture,

• the focal length,

• the size of the tube located at focus,

• the degrees out of focus possible before the trough needs to be refocused.

This Demonstration was written to aid in the design of hand-operated solar peanut roasters for use in developing countries. The material in the tube can be peanuts for roasting, bread for baking, water for heating, etc., or simply air to be heated for drying crops. All dimensions are in millimeters.

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Contributed by: Rolfe A. Leary and Kevin Nimerfro (July 2009)
Additional contributions by: Jaebum Jung
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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