A novel absorptive/reflective solar concentrator for heat and electricity generation: An optical and thermal analysis

Xian Long Meng, Nazmi Sellami*, Andrew R. Knox, Andrea Montecucco, Jonathan Siviter, Paul Mullen, Ali Ashraf, Antonio Samarelli, Lourdes F. Llin, Douglas J Paul, Wen Guang Li, Manosh C. Paul, Duncan H. Gregory, Guang Han, Min Gao, Tracy Sweet, Robert Freer, Feridoon Azough, Robert Lowndes, Xin Lin XiaTapas K. Mallick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
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The crossed compound parabolic concentrator (CCPC) is one of the most efficient non-imaging solar concentrators used as a stationary solar concentrator or as a second stage solar concentrator. In this study, the CCPC is modified to demonstrate for the first time a new generation of solar concentrators working simultaneously as an electricity generator and thermal collector. The CCPC is designed to have two complementary surfaces, one reflective and one absorptive, and is named as an absorptive/reflective CCPC (AR-CCPC). Usually, the height of the CCPC is truncated with a minor sacrifice of the geometric concentration. These truncated surfaces rather than being eliminated are instead replaced with absorbent surfaces to collect heat from solar radiation. The optical efficiency including absorptive/reflective part of the AR-CCPC was simulated and compared for different geometric concentration ratios varying from 3.6× to 4×. It was found that the combined optical efficiency of the AR-CCPC 3.6×/4× remained constant and high all day long and that it had the highest total optical efficiency compared to other concentrators. In addition, the temperature distributions of AR-CCPC surfaces and the assembled solar cell were simulated based on those heat flux boundary conditions. It was shown that the addition of a thermal absorbent surface can increase the wall temperature. The maximum value reached 321.5 K at the front wall under 50° incidence. The experimental verification was also adopted to show the benefits of using absorbent surfaces. The initial results are very promising and significant for the enhancement of solar concentrator systems with lower concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-153
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Early online date18 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016


  • Absorption
  • Optical efficiency
  • Reflection
  • Solar concentrator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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