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Design for On-Sun Evaluation of Evaporator ReceiversA heat pipe designed for operation as a solar power receiver should be optimized to accept the solar energy flux and transfer this heat into a reactor. Optical properties of the surface, thermal conductance of the receiver wall, contact resistance of the heat pipe wick, and other heat pipe wick properties ultimately define the maximum amount of power that can be extracted from the concentrated sunlight impinging on the evaporator surface. Modeling of solar power receivers utilizing optical and physical properties provides guidance to their design. On-sun testing is another important means of gathering information on performance. A test rig is being designed and built to conduct on-sun testing. The test rig is incorporating a composite strip mirror concentrator developed as part of a Small Business Innovative Research effort and delivered to NASA Glenn Research Center. In the strip concentrator numerous, lightweight composite parabolic strips of simple curvature were combined to form an array 1.5 m x 1.5 m in size. The line focus of each strip is superimposed in a central area simulating a point of focus. A test stand is currently being developed to hold the parabolic strip concentrator, track the sun, and turn the beam downward towards the ground. The hardware is intended to be sufficiently versatile to accommodate on-sun testing of several receiver concepts, including those incorporating heat pipe evaporators. Characterization devices are also being developed to evaluate the effectiveness of the solar concentrator, including a receiver designed to conduct calorimetry. This paper describes the design and the characterization devices of the on-sun test rig, and the prospect of coupling the concentrated sunlight to a heat pipe solar power receiver developed as part of another Small Business Innovative Research effort.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Jaworske, Donald A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Colozza, Anthony
(Analex Corp. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Sechkar, Edward A.
(ASRC Aerospace Corp. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
July 31, 2011
Subject Category
Energy Production And Conversion
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 9th Annual International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
Location: San Diego, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: July 31, 2011
End Date: August 3, 2011
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 387498.04.01.09.Q1.03
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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