NASA Logo

NTRS

NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Refractive Secondary Solar Concentrator Demonstrated High-Temperature OperationSpace applications that utilize solar thermal energy--such as electric power conversion systems, thermal propulsion systems, and furnaces--require highly efficient solar concentration systems. The NASA Glenn Research Center is developing the refractive secondary concentrator, which uses refraction and total internal reflection to efficiently concentrate and direct solar energy. When used in combination with advanced lightweight primary concentrators, such as inflatable thin films, the refractive secondary concentrator enables very high system concentration ratios and very high temperatures. Last year, Glenn successfully demonstrated a secondary concentrator throughput efficiency of 87 percent, with a projected efficiency of 93 percent using an antireflective coating. Building on this achievement, Glenn recently successfully demonstrated high-temperature operation of the secondary concentrator when it was used to heat a rhenium receiver to 2330 F. The high-temperature demonstration of the concentrator was conducted in Glenn's 68-ft long Tank 6 thermal vacuum facility equipped with a solar simulator. The facility has a rigid panel primary concentrator that was used to concentrate the light from the solar simulator onto the refractive secondary concentrator. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center provided a rhenium cavity, part of a solar thermal propulsion engine, to serve as the high-temperature receiver. The prototype refractive secondary concentrator, measuring 3.5 in. in diameter and 11.2 in. long, is made of single-crystal sapphire. A water-cooled splash shield absorbs spillage light outside of the 3.5-in. concentrator aperture. Multilayer foil insulation composed of tungsten, molybdenum, and niobium is used to minimize heat loss from the hightemperature receiver. A liquid-cooled canister calorimeter is used to measure the heat loss through the multilayer foil insulation.
Document ID
20050203997
Document Type
Other
Authors
Wong, Wayne A. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 8, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 2002
Publication Information
Publication: Research and Technology 2001
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Available Downloads

NameType 20050203997.pdf STI