Optical losses due to tracking on solar thermal collectors

Fabienne Sallaberry, Ramn Pujol-Nadal, Bengt Peres

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


For a wide range of operational temperatures, the solar thermal collectors can use optical concentration systems to optimize their efficiency. However, as optical concentration relies on direct solar radiation, it is necessary to use a solar tracker following the sun direction to maximize the amount of useful solar radiation received. The selection of the appropriate tracking systems matching the optical concentration factor is essential to achieve optimal collector efficiency. Otherwise, the concentrator would experience high optical losses due to the inadequate focusing of the direct solar radiation onto its receiver, regardless of its quality. This paper gives the state-of-the-art of the methodologies available to characterize the tracking error of a concentrating collector, a summary of different previous studies done in this subject and of the standardization regarding the tracking accuracy and its influence on the solar collector efficiency. The methodologies and results of the tracking accuracy, incidence angle modifier and optical losses due to tracking errors are presented in this paper for the five collectors studied.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th ISES Eurosun 2016 Conference
PublisherInternational Solar Energy Society
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventEurosun 2016 - Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Duration: 11 Oct 201614 Oct 2016


ConferenceEurosun 2016
CityPalma de Mallorca


  • Collector testing
  • Optical characterization
  • Solar tracking accuracy
  • Optical losses


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