The thermal performance of a parabolic trough solar collector with an innovative porous absorber receiver is investigated. A one-dimensional finite-difference computer program is used to compute steady-state fluid velocity and transient temperature distributions along the line of vertical symmetry near the midpoint of the collector. Parametric studies are conducted to determine the influence of mass flow rate, acceptance angle, receiver dimensions, and material properties on the thermal efficiency. Numerical results for thermal efficiency show the potential for marked improvement over commercially available parabolic trough collectors for a wide range of fluid outlet temperatures.
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Acknowledgment--Support for this work was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-ACO3-82SF11937.