Performance and determination of Concentration Ratio for a parabolic solar concentrator using a thermographic technique

Keywords: Solar energy, solar heating, solar radiation, thermal efficiency, solar collector


This work addresses the methodology to determine the exact concentration ratio (CR) for a parabolic solar concentrator (PSC) using thermographic imaging. The value of CR is commonly given in terms of the area of the receiver and not in terms of the area of the image produced by the concentrator on the receiver surface. With thermographic analysis, it is possible to know the real image generated by the PSC on the receiver, which helps to have a precise calculation of CR. It is important to measure the real CR not only for manufacturing purposes but also for the maintenance of solar concentrators, since its miscalculation lowers their energy efficiency or lifespan. In experiments, the real image on the receiver is divided into 4 regions, stratified with an equal temperature difference for each one. With this consideration, CR varied from 20 to 151. To complete the analysis, the energy efficiency is calculated. Since heating is a non-stationary process, thermal efficiency fluctuated during the time of experimentation, having a peak of 25% and a mean value of 15.3%. The irregularities of curvature in the concentrators significantly deteriorate the uniformity of the radiation flux and the energy efficiency due to unused areas of concentration.

= 126 veces | PDF
= 74 veces|


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Fabian Cano-Ardila, Universidad de Antioquia

Gas Science and Technology and Rational Use of Energy Group GASURE researcher

Juan David Giraldo-Quintero, Universidad de Antioquia

Mechanical Engineering Student

Sergio Cipriano Agudelo-Flórez, Universidad de Antioquia

Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Engineering


E. Guilyardi and et al., “Ipcc special report global warming of 1.5°c summary for teachers,” Office for Climate Education, France, Tech. Rep., Dec. 2018. [Online]. Available:

C. J. Smith and et al., “Current fossil fuel infrastructure does not yet commit us to 1.5 °c warming,” Nature Communications, no. 101, Jan. 15, 2019. [Online]. Available:

“Adoption of the paris agreement. proposal by the president. paris climate change conference-november 2015, cop 21,” UNFCCC. Conference of the Parties, París, Dec. 12, 2015. [Online]. Available:

UPME and IDEAM. (2005) Atlas de radiación solar de colombia. República de Colombia. Ministerio de Minas y Energía. [Online]. Available:

H. L. Zhang, J. Baeyens, J. Degrève, and G. Cacères, “Concentrated solar power plants: Review and design methodology,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 22, Jun. 2013. [Online]. Available:

Q. Li and et al., “Energy concentration limits in solar thermal heating applications,” Energy, vol. 96, Feb. 1, 2016. [Online]. Available:

J. A. Duffie and W. A. Beckman. (2013) Solar engineering of thermal processes. John Wiley & Sons. Inc. [Online]. Available:

O. Ellabban, H. Abu-Rub, and F. Blaabjerg, “Renewable energy resources: Current status, future prospects and their enabling technology,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 39, Nov. 2014. [Online]. Available:

J. E. Hoffmann, “On the outlook for solar thermal hydrogen production in south africa,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 44, no. 2, Jan. 8, 2019. [Online]. Available:

S. E. Hosseini, H. Barzegaravval, B. Chehroudi, and M. A. Wahid, “Hybrid solar flameless combustion system: Modeling and thermodynamic analysis,” Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 166, Jun. 15, 2018. [Online]. Available:

D. I. Paul, “Application of compound parabolic concentrators to solar photovoltaic conversion: A comprehensive review,” International journal of energy research, vol. 43, no. 9, Apr. 1, 2019. [Online]. Available:

S. M. Jeter, “The distribution of concentrated solar radiation in paraboloidal collectors,” Journal of solar energy engineering, vol. 108, no. 3, Aug. 1, 1986. [Online]. Available:

D. Rodriguez and G. Rosengarten, “Improving the concentration ratio of parabolic troughs using a second-stage flat mirror,” Applied Energy, vol. 159, Dec. 1, 2015. [Online]. Available:

J. P. Núnez, H. Price, M. Silva, and M. Castellano, “Optical analysis of a two stage xx simultaneous multiple surface concentrator for parametric trough primary and flat absorber with application in direct steam generation solar thermal plants,” Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, vol. 138, no. 2, Apr. 2016. [Online]. Available:

J. W. Baughn and J. B. Bergquam, “Optimum concentration ratio for a solar central-receiver electric power plant,” Journal of Engineering for gas Turbines and Power, vol. 99, no. 3, Jul. 1977. [Online]. Available:

D. Xu and M. Qu, “Experimental performance analysis of external compound parabolic concentrators with low concentration ratios for medium temperature applications,” Energy Sustainability, Jun. 2014. [Online]. Available:

N. Mbodji and A. Hajji, “Performance testing of a parabolic solar concentrator for solar cooking,” Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, vol. 138, no. 4, Aug. 2016. [Online]. Available:

D. Y. Goswami and F. Kreith. (2007) Handbook of energy efficiency and renewable energy. CRC Press. Taylor & Francis Group. Boca Ratón, FL. [Online]. Available:

R. Xu and et al., “Effects of deformation of cylindrical compound parabolic concentrator (cpc) on concentration characteristics,” Solar Energy, vol. 176, Dec. 2018. [Online]. Available:

G. Wang, F. Wang, Z. Chen, P. Hu, and R. Cao, “Experimental study and optical analyses of a multi-segment plate (msp) concentrator for solar concentration photovoltaic (cpv) system,” Renewable Energy, vol. 134, Apr. 2019. [Online]. Available:

H. Hoseinzadeh, A. Kasaeian, and M. B. Shafii, “Geometric optimization of parabolic trough solar collector based on the local concentration ratio using the monte carlo method,” Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 175, Nov. 1, 2018. [Online]. Available:

M. Vollmer and K.-P. Möllmann. (2018) Infrared thermal imaging: fundamentals, research and applications. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. [Online]. Available:

P. A. Funk and D. L. Larson, “Parametric model of solar cooker performance,” Solar Energy, vol. 62, no. 1, Jan. 1998. [Online]. Available:

How to Cite
Cano-ArdilaF., Giraldo-QuinteroJ. D., & Agudelo-FlórezS. C. (2021). Performance and determination of Concentration Ratio for a parabolic solar concentrator using a thermographic technique. Revista Facultad De Ingeniería Universidad De Antioquia, (100), 133-141.