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Concentrated solar thermal linear Fresnel lens
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 02:51 authored by Joel Cleal
Australia's ageing network of coal fired power stations, combined with the world's move away from fossil fuels, has created a unique opportunity for the generation of renewable energy in Australia. This paper will focus on the emerging technology of concentrated solar thermal (CST), and, more specifically, investigate the use of a linear Fresnel lens as an alternative method of CST generation. CST systems work by concentrating solar energy onto a receiver to generate heat, which is then transferred to water either directly or through a heat exchanger for use in a conventional steam turbine. Currently there are no commercial CST plants operating in Australia, primarily due to high costs in comparison with existing renewables, and a lack of government support. to investigate the suitability of a linear Fresnel lens system, a small prototype was was developed and a number of experimental analyses conducted. The results indicated that a CST technique based on lens magnification can produce high working temperatures an efficiencies, along with several different advantages over existing CST methods. These include reduced environmental impacts, decreased maintenance requirements, and lower operating costs. Additionally, the experimental results indicated that a linear Fresnel CST system could be implemented into industries that require the use of low process heat. These include the food, textile and chemical industries, with process heat in the low to medium temperature ranges of between 80°C-250°C accounting for over 30% of total industrial energy consumptioon.