Capstone project

Solar steam generator

This paper explores the development of parabolic solar concentration systems utilizing solar radiation heat transfer to create steam using water as the working fluid. By concentrating solar radiation rays onto a focal point, energy transfer is sufficient enough so that the surface temperature of a material (Type M copper tubing) at the focal point can be raised to a level necessary in generating a phase change in water from its liquid form to steam. The resultant steam can then be used in subsequent processes not covered in the scope of this research. A comparison of solar steam generation is drawn between flat plate solar collection, parabolic trough concentration, and parabolic dish concentration. For this analysis, the parabolic trough concentration was chosen as the optimal system considering cost, time, and manufacturing constraints, and will be covered in much detail. Both the flat plate collection and parabolic dish concentration were analyzed in addition to the parabolic concentration system, but will be described in limited detail in this paper. Also, a thorough breakdown of design process is included. This process includes customer requirements for the prospective solar steam generator, how these requirements shape the design of the system, and proposed characteristics of the system to meet these customer needs.