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Maximum Exposure: Ray-Tracing Software Optimizes Reflector Design

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Engineers can simulate rays emitting from direct and indirect sun models to design more efficient concentrated solar power systems.

MICHAEL GAUVIN, LAMBDA RESEARCH CORP.

The concentrated solar market is often overshadowed by photovoltaic (PV) panels, yet the market segment is expected to grow by nearly 20 percent annually through 2020. Concentrated solar power — or CSP — has unique performance advantages over PV panels, especially when tied to the electrical grid. CSP systems convert solar radiation to mechanical energy, which, in turn, becomes electrical energy. This is achieved when reflectors, consisting of a mirrored surface applied to a parabolic or flat structure that is mounted to a tracking system, are oriented to focus maximum solar...Read full article

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