Chapter 6

Solar Dishes

Abstract

A parabolic dish solar generation unit is a small power plant with a reflector like a large satellite antenna. Like a solar tower, it is a point focusing concentrator, but it can achieve an even higher concentration ratio, theoretically as high as 2000, and an efficiency of up to 40%. Size is limited by material constraints, and the largest practical dishes are normally around 10 m in diameter, with a generating capacity of 25 kW, although larger individual dishes have been constructed. For larger generating capacity, arrays of multiple dishes are used. Each solar dish normally has its own heat engine, often either a Stirling engine or a micro turbine. Some systems have also experimented with steam turbines with ...

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