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Development of a novel solar thermal process using magnification
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 16:29 authored by Tyler Martin
This thesis intends to develop a novel solar thermal magnification system using lenses, to provide higher efficiencies and power generation than currently implemented concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) systems. Currently, CSP systems cannot compete with fossil fuel generated power due to their low efficiencies and high required land use, increasing the cost of the system, as well as the fact that solar power generates only during the day time, unable to effectively provide power throughout the night without thermal storage systems. This report looks into the current state of the renewable energy industry in Australia, primarily solar systems, which has shown the potential for an effective CSP system, such as the novel system, to provide base load power to the grid and overcome the limitations of of existing CSP technologies , reducing the need for fossil fuel generated power. Experimental testing using various sized biconvex lenses has been completed, which showed strong potential for use in the novel system. A parabolic dish reflector was also tested and compared to the biconvex lens, with all sizes of the biconvex lenses exceeding the energy collection of the parabolic dish reflector, one of the highest efficiency CSP systems currently used. Overall, the extensive experimental testing and analysis has allowed for the creation of several conceptual models. These models are presented so that they can provide a useful base in the further development of the system into a functional prototype.