Ahmed Foud Mohamed, Mahmoud Abdel-Wahab Shaheen, Khairy Fakhry Megalla
Abstract: A parabolic trough solar collector uses the glass mirror as a reflecting material in the shape of a parabola in order to reflect and concentrate the sun radiation towards a receiver tube located at the focus of the parabola. Various solar tracking systems have been developed by various researches in the past decades. A tracking system is still required which can track the sun on real time basis without any geographical data. In the present work, an automatic sun tracking system for parabolic trough collectors is designed for its feasibility. It is found that the automatic sun tracking system provides higher efficiency when compared to manually operated and fixed collectors. In this work, a direct formula is proposed for design of robust PID controller for sun tracking system using quadratic regular approach with compensating pole (QRAWCP). The main advantage of the proposed approach is that it eliminates the need to use recently developed iterative software computer techniques which are time consuming, computationally inefficient and also with this new approach there is no need to obtain boundaries of search space. In order to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, performance of the sun tracking system is compared with the recently applied tuning techniques for sun tracking systems such as Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO), Firefly Algorithm (FFA) and Cuckoo Search Algorithm (CSA).
Keywords: PTC: Parabolic Trough Collector, CSP: Concentrating Solar Power, MNS: Molten Nitrate Salt, SEGS: Solar Electric Generation System, HTF: Heat Transfer Fluid