Lúar Moreno-Álvarez, Andrés Amat-Castrillón

Abstract

We have found the flux homogenization technique described in the paper published in volume 93, pages 115–124 (august 2016), does not provide homogenized fluxes in all out-of-focus distances of the solar receiver, but only above a certain transition distance, and that some of the numerical analysis procedures used in that document should be revised or complemented to achieve better reproducibility of the results. In addition, we also note that some statements and conclusions in that document are mistaken or formulated incorrectly, so it is necessary their correction.

Comments to “A simple method to achieve a uniform flux distribution in a multi-faceted point focus concentrator”y

Publicado en Revistas Arbitradas

Yannely Carvajal-Campos, Laura Ceballos-Mendivil, Francisco Baldenebro-López, Carlos Pérez-Rábago, Claudio A Estrada

Abstract

Tantalum carbide (TaC) nanoparticles were synthesized using the IER-UNAM (HoSIER) solar furnace, which reduces polluting gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels through the use of concentrated solar energy. TaC synthesis was performed through a carbothermal reduction method from Ta/O/C complex, using tantalum pentachloride (TaCl5) and synthesized phenolic resin as sources of tantalum and carbon, respectively, at a temperature of 1200 °C, in a reaction time of 30 min, under argon atmosphere. A solar reactor equipped with a quartz window was used, designed to work in controlled atmospheres. Complex Ta/O/C bonds and thermal decomposition were analyzed by FT-IR and TG/DSC, respectively, while the structure and morphology of TaC were analyzed by XRD, TEM, and SEM techniques. Results showed a TaC with a cubic crystalline structure, a low amount of Ta2O5 and a near-spherical …

Synthesis and characterization of tantalum carbide nanoparticles using concentrated solar energy

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Alessandro Gallo, Elisa Alonso, Carlos Pérez-Rábago, Edward Fuentealba, María Isabel Roldán

Abstract

Rotary kilns are worldwide used for industrial processes that involve thermal treatments of particulate materials. However, a great amount of fossil fuels is employed in such processes. As alternative, solar rotary kilns are considered for this application due to their versatility and potential to substitute traditional fossil-fuel driven devices. In order to boost the development of this technology, efforts have to be focused on the control of the particle temperature during the treatment. In this context, a lab-scale rotary kiln was built and tested using a 7-kWe high-flux solar simulator at University of Antofagasta. It was conceived to treat particulate materials of different nature and it is able to reach temperatures higher than 800 °C under different operation strategies. Silicon carbide was selected for initial tests because it is inert, endures high temperatures (up to 1600 °C) and it has been proposed as thermal storage vector in several researches on concentrated solar power. In a first stage, the empty kiln was preheated up to about 800 °C, reaching a steady state in less than three hours and with a power of approximately 370 W entering the kiln cavity. Afterwards, 43 g of silicon carbide were introduced in the furnace and the system was heated again up to a second steady state above 800 °C. In this stage, particles showed a fast increment of their temperature and exceeded 700 °C in less than three minutes after loading. A one-dimensional transient numerical model was also developed to perform the thermal analysis of the kiln and the estimation of both the particle temperature and the system efficiency. Numerical results showed good agreement with experimental data and thermal losses could be quantified in detail. Therefore, the model was also used to predict the thermal behavior of a solar rotary kiln working in batch mode..

A lab-scale rotary kiln for thermal treatment of particulate materials under high concentrated solar radiation: Experimental assessment and transient numerical modeling

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Omar Álvareza, Armando Rojas, Arturo Barba, Camilo A. Arancibia, Jorge Álvarez, Dulce V. Melo, Carlos E. Arreola

Abstract

This study investigates the phase transformations that can occur in an austenitic stainless steel (AISI 316) by demonstrating the appearance of δ-ferrite that is obtained in the initial heating cycles using Concentrated Solar Irradiation (CSI) at magnitudes needed to obtain the operational temperatures of central tower systems. Four AISI 316 stainless steel specimens cut from one single initial piece, were exposed to CSI in the Horno Solar de Alto Flujo Radiativo at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México to perform the thermal cycles. AISI 316 stainless steel is fully austenitic and is selected because it is reportedly one of the cheaper material used in CSI receivers. Monotonic tensile strength tests were performed, and it is assumed that there is no relevant effect on the mechanical behavior for the reported experiment. Phase transformations were characterized using optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction and by scanning electron microscopy analysis with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The appearance of δ-ferrite phase was the principal difference between CSI treated specimens, a non-treated specimen and one specimen heated by conventional method. Concentrated UV irradiation from the solar spectrum on Earth surface demonstrated to have the potential to obtain the phase transformation at a temperature near 630 °C.

Effects of concentrated solar irradiation on allotropic transformations of AISI 316 stainless steel

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Ricardo Pérez-Enciso, Alessandro Gallo, David Riveros-Rosas, Edward Fuentealba-Vidal, Carlos Pérez-Rábago

Abstract

A method to achieve a uniform flux distribution with a multi-faceted point focus concentrator for laboratory tests is proposed in this work. The method can be applied to different types of receiver - thermal or photovoltaic - and no additional device is required to homogenize the flux. The technique consists in moving the receiver from the focal plane and enlarging the solar spot impinging on it. At the same time, each mirror aim-point is adjusted in order to superimpose the images that have been generated by every facet. To evaluate the method, a real multi-faceted concentrator composed of eighteen spherical mirrors was modeled in a ray-tracing software. The procedure was validated through the comparison of an image of the real solar spot on the receiver generated by three mirrors, and the simulated flux obtained the same way. This way a mean concentrator global optical error of 2.8 mrad was estimated. This value was used then for further analyses. Results show that the concentration factor can be varied in a range of 150–900 suns over a receiver diameter of up to 7 cm. Hence, according to the receiver requirements, it is possible to expand the distribution and to alter the intensity of the flux. Finally, optical parametrical analyses were carried out, from which it is inferred that good quality optics give rise to a more homogeneous solar flux on the receiver.

A simple method to achieve a uniform flux distribution in a multi-faceted point focus concentrator

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H. I. Villafán-Vidales; C. A. Arancibia-Bulnes,  U. Dehesa-Carrasco, H. Romero-Paredes

Abstract

Radiative heat transfer in a solar thermochemical reactor for the thermal reduction of cerium oxide is simulated with the Monte Carlo method. The directional characteristics and the power distribution of the concentrated solar radiation that enters the cavity is obtained by carrying out a Monte Carlo ray tracing of a paraboloidal concentrator. It is considered that the reactor contains a gas/particle suspension directly exposed to concentrated solar radiation. The suspension is treated as a non-isothermal, non-gray, absorbing, emitting, and anisotropically scattering medium. The transport coefficients of the particles are obtained from Mie-scattering theory by using the optical properties of cerium oxide. From the simulations, the aperture radius and the particle concentration were optimized to match the characteristics of the considered concentrator.

Monte Carlo radiative transfer simulation of a cavity solar reactor for the reduction of cerium oxide

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D. Riveros-Rosas, J. Herrera-Vázquez, C. Pérez-Rábago,  C.A. Arancibia-Bulnes, S. Vázquez-Montiel, M. Sánchez-González, F. Granados-Agustín, O. Jaramillo, Estrada C.A.

Abstract

Radiative heat transfer in a solar thermochemical reactor for the thermal reduction of cerium oxide is simulated with the Monte Carlo method. The directional characteristics and the power distribution of the concentrated solar radiation that enters the cavity is obtained by carrying out a Monte Carlo ray tracing of a paraboloidal concentrator. It is considered that the reactor contains a gas/particle suspension directly exposed to concentrated solar radiation. The suspension is treated as a non-isothermal, non-gray, absorbing, emitting, and anisotropically scattering medium. The transport coefficients of the particles are obtained from Mie-scattering theory by using the optical properties of cerium oxide. From the simulations, the aperture radius and the particle concentration were optimized to match the characteristics of the considered concentrator.

Optical design of a High Radiative Flux Solar Furnece for Mexico

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D. Riveros-Rosas, M. Sánchez-González, C. A. Arancibia-Bulnes, C. A. Estrada.

Abstract

It is a common practice in the development of point focus solar concentrators to use multiple identical reflecting facets, as a practical and economic alternative for the design and construction of large systems. This kind of systems behaves in a different manner than continuous paraboloidal concentrators. A theoretical study is carried out to understand the effect of the size of facets and of their optical errors in multiple facet point focus solar concentrating systems. For this purpose, a ray tracing program was developed based on the convolution technique, in which the brightness distribution of the sun and the optical errors of the reflecting surfaces are considered. The study shows that both the peak of concentration and the optimal focal distance of the system strongly depend on the size of the facets, and on their optical errors. These results are useful to help concentrator developers to have a better understanding of the relationship between manufacturing design restrictions and final optical behavior.

Influence of the Size of Facets on Point Focus Solar Concentrators

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D. Riveros-Rosas, R. Castrejón-García, C. A. Arancibia-Bulnes, C. A. Pérez-Rábago, C. A. Estrada-Gasca

Abstract

A methodology for the evaluation of the specularity error of a polymeric filmoptical coating is presented. The methodology is based on the comparison of images from the sun produced by two high quality spherical mirrors, one covered with a highly specular evaporated aluminumfilm, and the second one with the polymeric film under study. This film is a commercial product known as Reflectech®. To determine the specularity error, both images are reproduced by means of ray tracing optical simulations. Those simulations use the angular brightness distribution from the sun as input, which were recorded by means of a specially developed solar scope. Significant differences are obtained between images of the sun generated by both mirrors. However, the specularity error of the coating under consideration is found to be just 0.71 mrad. This error is quite small making the polymeric coating highly appropriate for point focus concentration systems. This is illustrated by calculations for a parabolic dish concentrator.

Assesment of a Polymeric Reflective Coating for High Concentration Point Focus Applications

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R. Pérez-Enciso, E. Brito-Bazan, C.A. Pérez-Rábago, C.A. Arancibia-Bulnes, D. Riveros-Rosas, C.A. Estrada.

Abstract

This paper discusses the methods implemented for the solution of the drift and backlash problems in the heliostat of the High Radiative Flux Solar Furnace recently built at the Renewable Energy Institute (former Center for Energy Research) of the National University of Mexico (IER-UNAM), located at the geographical coordinates 18°50′24″ North latitude and 99°15′00″ West longitude. To solve the observed drift, several algorithms were analyzed for the calculation of the solar vector, and a closed loop through an electronic device (peephole) was implemented which makes corrections to the position of the heliostat. Using the peephole, drift heliostat decreased significantly; 70% in the horizontal direction and 63% in the vertical direction relative to the no use of peephole. The backlash was corrected by means of unbalancing the heliostat.

Correction of the concentrated sunlight spot´s drift of the IER-UNAM´s solar furnace

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