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Parabolic Trough Target Improvement - Page 2

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Posted by Eric on September 1, 2009, 9:28 pm

I'd be interested in what kind of results you got.
Did you try heating a tank of water? At a given flow rate
what kind of temperature rise do you see from inlet to outlet?
How long does it take to heat, say, a 50 gallon water tank from
some starting temperature to some ending temperature?
What is the environment, outdoor temperature, general location etc.
I remember years ago me and another guy experimented with something similar,
it was unbelievable how fast and how hot the water got, we only had a small
amount of water but the outside temperature was a sunny 10F (In Maine,
winter time) and we managed to make steam in short order.
Please post more of your experimental results -  

Posted by Morris Dovey on September 2, 2009, 5:07 pm

Morris Dovey wrote:

I think I'll need to organize this stuff better than I've done so far -
but I went ahead and added two "orphan" pages...

There's a page at


with a program that, given an absorption rate, approximates absorber
efficiencies for various interior angles. Please note that that a
displayed absorber efficiency of 100% will always be the result of
rounding a (lesser) calculated value to fit the format width.

Once you've picked an internal angle, there's a second page at


with another program that, given the groove interior angle and depth,
diameter of the collector tube, and the angular width of the target area
on the tube, calculates the values needed to actually produce such an

For MS users I've provided links on both pages to MS-DOS executables. To
download, right click on the link and select "Save target as" - then run
the program in an MS-DOS window.

Linux users can compile the C source with gcc and run it in an xterm (or

Everyone else is on their own. :)

Have fun!

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

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