A three-dimensional ring-array concentrator solar furnace

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A single ring-array concentrator solar furnace unit was firstly modeled analytically, and then optimized numerically by ZEMAX® and ANSYS® software, reaching a temperature of 3778 K, nearly equivalent to that of a medium size solar furnace with 3.14 m2 collection area. A novel three-dimensional ring array concentrator solar furnace was subsequently proposed and analyzed. It consisted of five single ring array concentrators, forming a compact box-shaped solar furnace with an opening at the rear side for an easy access to a common focal spot in the center. Based on the edge-ray principle of non-imaging optics, 30,960 solar concentration ratio was analytically calculated for this solar furnace, leading to significantly enhanced thermal and optical efficiencies. The temperature performance of the three-dimensional ring-array concentrator furnace as a function of receiver size and collector area was analyzed numerically and compared to that of the medium size solar furnace. For a 5.68 mm diameter spherical receiver and large collection area varying from 3.14 m2 to 100 m2, 1.1 times gradual enhancement in the maximum attainable temperature was calculated for the ring array concentrator furnace. More importantly, its average and minimum temperatures were significantly improved by 870 K and 1140 K, respectively, as compared to that of the medium size solar furnace. In addition, the three-dimensional ring-array concentrator also presented a significant tracking error compensation capacity in relation to that with the medium size solar furnace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-928
Number of pages14
JournalSolar Energy
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019


  • Parabolic mirror
  • Ring-array
  • Solar furnace
  • Temperature
  • Three-dimensional
  • Tracking error


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