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CAS-EN APPLIED Research Activity for the Month of September 2014
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Parabolic Solar Collector equipped with a tracking system is designed, fabricated and successfully tested by CAS-EN Student as part of his MS Research Thesis. Applied Research has been commercialized by installing 32 such collectors at the Kohinoor Textile Mills to serve as a clean renewable source of thermal energy for hot water at 80oC for their steam boilers. The hybrid system is not only financially competitive but also environmental friendly huge saving on OPEX because of consumption of dirty fossil fuel; furnace oil and woody biomass.     

It is a norm for the most of the processes employed in various Industries to consume steam at different production stages. Traditionally, water is heated to produce steam consuming natural gas and furnace oil. Because of finite depleting resources of natural and shortfall in electricity leads to supply demand imbalance, with frequent black outs hampering industrial activities. With these real world daunting challenges alternate renewable indigenous solutions are only options towards economic activity and sustainability in a developing economy like Pakistan. Indigenous solutions would not contribute towards power generation but also save in huge foreign exchange in billions of dollar bill to import fuel. Concept to use solar for thermal heating of water is novel options. Pakistan geographically lies on sun belt having maximum solar radiance and sun shine of almost 6 - 8 hours a day. The main theme of the project is designing, developing, testing and evaluation of single-axis solar tracking parabolic trough collector (PTC), which will act as a prototype for instructional and demonstrative purposes interestingly because of its viability it was straight away commercialized. A parabolic trough collector (PTC) having area of almost 4m and weight of 65kg was constructed. The proper dimension of the parabolic trough collector (PTC) was calculated using parabolic calculator and to verify the design its first constructed on AUTOCAD. The parabolic trough collector (PTC) was examined under different weather condition. COMSOL was used to simulate heat exchanger, water can be heated to a temperature of 98°C. The single axis tracking system was employed, on comparing results with fixed parabolic it is evident that the average efficiency of the tracking PTC was 50% more. The cost analysis for such a hybrid system is cost effective.