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A Three-degree-of-freedom Parallel Manipulator for Concentrated Solar Power Towers: Modeling, Simulation and Design

Ghosal, Ashitava and Shyam, Ashith RB (2016) A Three-degree-of-freedom Parallel Manipulator for Concentrated Solar Power Towers: Modeling, Simulation and Design. In: 21st International Conference on Concentrating Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems (SolarPACES), OCT 13-16, 2015, Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4949247


There is an increased thrust to harvest solar energy in India to meet increasing energy requirements and to minimize imported fossil fuels. In a solar power tower system, an array of tracking mirrors or heliostats are used to concentrate the incident solar energy on an elevated stationary receiver and then the thermal energy converted to electricity using a heat engine. The conventional method of tracking are the Azimuth-Elevation (Az-El) or Target-Aligned (T-A) mount. In both the cases, the mirror is rotated about two mutually perpendicular axes and is supported at the center using a pedestal which is fixed to the ground. In this paper, a three degree-of-freedom parallel manipulator, namely the 3-RPS, is proposed for tracking the sun in a solar power tower system. We present modeling, simulation and design of the 3-RPS parallel manipulator and show its advantages over conventional Az-El and T-A mounts. The 3-RPS manipulator consists of three rotary (R), three prismatic (P) and three spherical (S) joints and the mirror assembly is mounted at three points in contrast to the Az-El and T-A mounts. The kinematic equations for sun tracking are derived for the 3-RPS manipulator and from the simulations, we obtain the range of motion of the rotary, prismatic and spherical joints. Since the mirror assembly is mounted at three points, the wind load and self-weight are distributed and as a consequence, the deflections due to loading are smaller than in conventional mounts. It is shown that the weight of the supporting structure is between 15% and 65% less than that of conventional systems. Hence, even though one additional actuator is used, the larger area mirrors can be used and costs can be reduced.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Series.: AIP Conference Proceedings
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the AMER INST PHYSICS, 2 HUNTINGTON QUADRANGLE, STE 1NO1, MELVILLE, NY 11747-4501 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2016 10:15
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2016 10:15
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/54530

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