Choosing the Right Mirrors for Your Parabolic Solar Concentrator Choosing the Right Mirrors for Your Parabolic Solar Concentrator
A solar concentrator uses shaped or parabolic mirrors or lenses to provide higher temperatures by using solar energy. As the sun moves in the sky, the parabolic mirrors rotate so that they are always facing it. This makes it possible for the mirrors to concentrate the solar incident rays on the surface of the specially designed absorber. The solar energy is then converted to heat energy.
Mirrors for a solar concentrator should have high solar energy absorbence. They work by focusing sunlight onto a concentrator which contains active solar cell materials that convert intense light into heat or electrical energy. The higher the absorbence of the material, the more sunlight or solar energy can be converted into heat or electrical energy.
To improve the absorbence property of the parabolic mirrors, they should be easily coated. Silvering or coating shaped glass allows the material to withstand high temperatures while directing solar energy to the photovoltaic units.
It is important for the parabolic mirror to have sturdy structure. This safeguards the solar concentrator unit from environmental and weather elements such as heavy wind speed and rains.