Performance simulation of parabolic trough solar collector using two fluids (thermic oil and molten salt)
The Parabolic trough solar collector is considered as one of the most proven, mature and commercial concentrating solar systems implemented in arid and semi-arid regions for energy production. It focuses sunlight onto a solar receiver by using mirrors and is finally converted to a useful thermal energy by means of a heat transfer fluid. The aims of this study are (i) to develop a new methodology for simulation and performance evaluation of parabolic trough solar collector, in addition (ii) to compare the efficiencies of this system using two different fluids; thermic oil and molten solar salt. The validation of obtained results using this methodology shows a good agreement with those obtained by the experimental tests. Furthermore, this study favors the using of thermic oil as heat transfer fluid in the receiver instead of molten salt due to the high efficiency of the concentrator based on the first fluid in comparison to the second one.
Keywords: parabolic trough collector; thermic oil; molten salt; performance