Parabolic Trough Concentrator (PTC)

Title: Design, Manufacturing, and Testing of Parabolic Trough Concentrator (PTC)

Duration: Research and Development Project (AKSON'S Solar June 2010-March 2011)
Final Year Project (July 2009-May 2010, VIT, Pune, India)
Adviser and Examiner:

M. D. Akole (Managing Director, AKSON'S Solar) and Prof. K. Sundaram (VIT, Pune, India)

Background:

The project was aimed to provide a solution to energy intensive industrial processes such as process heating. In India, many small and medium scale industries (SMEs) spend a hefty amount of their income for fuels (which are used for these processes). India being geographically situated in earth's Sun-Belt, concentrated solar can precisely be technology which can provide a feasible solution.

Few constraints, which were considered while defining the problem statement, were the initial cost, space, complexity of the operation, maintenance cost and manufacturing intricacies due to locally available resources.

Description:

This project was a Bachelor's thesis, first, and then it was further pursued to develop a commercial industrial product.

  • To target the market segment of industrial process heating

  • Daily-Tracking system using a photo-sensors (comparator circuit)

  • An innovative torque box structure was designed.

    This torque box was designed to replace the traditional torque tube (which is used to transmit the torque from one end of PTC to the other while tracking the solar movement throughout the day). Torque box is easier to manufacture, cheaper, easier to assemble and to transport than torque tube.

  • A prototype of 6 m * 2.5 m, rim angle 80 deg. C, Receiver ID: 27mm, OD: 33.5mm.


The project was awarded prestigious Forbes Marshall award for best project in Mechanical Department. (Stood 2nd)

The project was developed as a commercial product of the company.