Monday, September 12, 2011

The size of the focal spot of an ideal parabolic dish solar concentrator

Tonatiuh can be used to explore diverse aspects of solar concentrating systems and to answer questions regarding those systems. In the link to the small document entitled "The size of the focal spot of an ideal parabolic dish solar concentrator" the question of what is the size of the spot of concentrating sunlight that a parabolic dish produces in a plane normal to its optical axis and at a distance equal to its focal length is answered.

The link also shows how Tonatiuh can be used to provide an approximate numerical answer to the question and analyzes the associated errors, which are shown to be relatively low (< 0.35%) even when the number of rays traced is not exceedingly large (< 65 million rays).

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