Performance analysis of a novel sun-tracking CPC heat pipe evacuated tubular collector

About the author

ZHU YuezhaoDoctor,professor,tutor of Ph.d. students, deputy party secretary and inspection commission secretary of Nanjing Tech university.

Vice chairman of National Green Energy Industrial Tech. and Innovative Strategy Alliance. Deputy director of Expansion Professional Committee, the National Mechanical Engineering Society. Vice chairman of Engineering Thermophysics society of Jiangsu Province.etc.

Research Interests

Equipment technology of biomass thermal chemical conversion: technology of biomass thermal chemical conversion, technology of biomass gas power generation, technology of biomass gas steam boiler, technology and system of biomass gas used for heating and refrigeration in industry and agriculture and biomass refining (synthetic chemicals), etc.

Equipment technology of using of middle and high temperature solar energy: compound parabolic concentrator and technology of parabolic trough solar heat collectors, technology of spotlighting solar diffusion and absorption refrigeration, solar energy absorption air-conditioning technology, technology of solar seawater desalination, solar thermal and chemical recycling technology (Hydrogen production), etc.

Journal Reference

Applied Thermal Engineering, Volume 87, 2015, Pages 381-388.

Yinfeng Wang1, Yuezhao Zhu1, Haijun Chen1, Xin Zhang1, Li Yang2, Chuanhua Liao1

Show Affiliations
  1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Process Enhancement and New Energy Equipment Technology, School of Mechanical and Power Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211816, China
  2. College of Environment, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211816, China


A tracking compound parabolic concentrating (TCPC) solar collector with concentration ratio of 2.3, which combine the CPC heat pipe evacuated tubular receiver and crank rod transmission mechanism together, was developed and studied in this paper. A theoretical model was created to simulate the solar incident angles and the optical performance of the TCPC collector. In addition, thermal performances of the TCPC collector at different operation modes were investigated experimentally. The simulation results show that, the transversal projection angle (θt) is the vital factor that affects the optical performance. When θt is within the range of −23.5° and 23.5°, the incident angle modifier (IAM) of the TCPC collector reaches 0.95∼1.14. By means of tracking, the average optical efficiency is over 60%, while it is decreased to 30% under the fixed mode (FM). The output energy of the TCPC collectors during the test period can be highly increased, which is 1.9∼2.3 times higher than that at the FM. Furthermore, the intermittent tracking mode (ITM) is more power frugal and efficient as the average optical efficiency is 3.6% higher than that at the Continuous tracking mode (CTM). These verify that the ITM is the optimal operation mode for the TCPC collectors.

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