If you’re planning on using solar power as a major portion of your electrical generation, then it pays to consider what type of concentrator you’ll need. There’s more than one type of solar power concentrator, and if you don’t know exactly what kind you need, then it can be hard to find the right one. Here’s some information on the basic types of solar power concentrators and what they are used for.
This is the most basic and popular type of solar power concentrator. A fixed-focus concentrator uses lenses to focus the sun’s rays onto receiver pipes, which then carry the heat to the water inside of them. Since the sun’s rays are focused onto a single point, the sunlight is concentrated. This makes it possible to use significantly less energy to generate the same amount of electricity as compared to conventional systems using reflectors and parabolic dishes.
The downfall of this type of concentrator is that it’s quite complex and expensive to build. The components are usually made of ceramic or glass, which are both fragile materials and difficult to maintain.
This type of concentrator focuses the sun’s rays along a straight line rather than focusing them at a fixed point. Due to its design, it’s quite easy to maintain and repair. Since there’s no specific focus point, it allows for a little bit of error in positioning.
This style of concentrator also allows for faster tracking of the sun’s movement across the sky, resulting in more efficient use of the resource. Due to its linear design, it is also less likely to be damaged by strong winds or harsh weather conditions (like heavy storms or excessive rain).
Parabolic Dish Concenrrator
This type of concentrator is a bit like a frying pan, with a concave side that focuses the sun’s rays onto a smaller surface area, resulting in more concentrated sunlight. Since the light is concentrated, it allows for more efficiency in converting sunlight to electricity.
The downfall of this type of concentrator is that it’s quite large and heavy, which makes it difficult to transport and install. Its stability also depends on the quality of the materials used, which can be quite costly if you want a perfect parabolic reflector.
Power Tower Concentrator
This is the grandaddy of all solar power concentrators. A power tower concentrator uses several columns arranged in a row, similar to the letter H, to focus the sun’s rays. This allows it to capture more sunlight and continue generating electricity after the sun sets.
The stability of a power tower concentrator relies on the strength of the materials used and the precision with which they are constructed. If you’re looking for a high-quality product that’s relatively easy to transport and erect, then this is the type of concentrator you need to get. They are also quite resistant to harsh weather conditions and high winds, which makes them great for sites that are prone to frequent storms or strong winds (such as the ocean).
This type of concentrator is quite effective at concentrating sunlight and allowing for more efficient use of the resource as compared to other types. Its stability also makes it quite easy to transport and install, as well as reliable in operation.
If you’re in the market for a solar energy concentrator, then it pays to consider the size and weight of the unit you’ll need, as well as how much space you have for it to operate. You also need to factor in how frequently the site you’re planning on using it at is prone to strong winds or harsh weather conditions.
If you want a reliable and efficient solar energy solution, then the power tower concentrator is the best type of unit to get. However, if you have limited space and the wind is your enemy, then you might want to consider alternative solutions. These are discussed next.