But the of the efficiency of the design requires further proof. It is necessary to ensure that the all of the rays "directed to the virtual elliptic receiver at the exit aperture are reflected by the concentrator to some point on this receiver" (Garcia-Botella, et al.). The explanation of the math for this process is explained in a long section of the report from Garcia-Botella, et al.;
"Three properties of one-sheet hyperbolic concentrator geometry are useful: (1)
All meridional sections of a one-sheet hyperbolic concentrator are hyperbolas, (2)
all cross sections of a onesheet hyperbolic concentrator are ellipses and (3) the tangent plane, at any point P. Of a one-sheet hyperbolic concentrator, is defined by the bisector of the angle FPF0, where F. And F0 are the foci of the hyperbola in the meridional plane (Fig. 2), and the tangent line to the elliptic cross section at P. All the skew rays incident at point P. directed to the virtual elliptic receiver generate an oblique elliptical cone, or incident cone. Then, the reflected cone will be the mirror image of the incident cone, through the tangent plane at point P. by
the geometry of this particular problem, the cross section of the incident cone, normal to the bisector of the angle FPF0, is an ellipse (Fig. 3). One of the principal axes of this ellipse lies in the tangent plane of the one-sheet hyperboloid and, by definition, the bisector of the incident cone too; therefore, the tangent plane coincides with a symmetry plane of the incident cone. This produces that the reflected cone coincides with the incident cone (Fig. 4), which means that all rays incident at point P. aimed to the virtual elliptic receiver, are reflected by the concentrator to some point on this receiver. This proves that a one-sheet hyperbolic concentrator is an ideal 3D asymmetric concentrator. "
The concentration of all of the rays collected can also be explained in the superior non-imaging optics that are used in the array (Chavez). Non-imaging optics have the ability to transfer light at a greater efficiency level that traditional optics (Cobble, et al.) and this further increases the efficiency of this type of array.
The application of this technology is also one of its beneficial features. Water desalination was discussed earlier as a principle need in many areas of the world. However, there is great controversy as to whether employing current desalination methods is so detrimental for the environment that the benefits cannot override the negative consequences (Schwabach). Environmental groups have begun filing lawsuits against the continued utilization of desalination techniques because they are harming the environment more than they are helping the people in these areas. Due to the need that these people have for clean water sources that are not naturally available, solar concentration is seen as a viable alternative. Also, the low impact that hyperboloid concentrators have as compared to other concentrators with the power to generate large amounts of energy (Muhammad-Suki, Ramirez-Iniguez, McMeekin, Stewart, & Clive) (which is required in the desalination process) (Rolla), makes it an ideal method for generating the power and desalination capabilities that are needed.
Research shows that clean water sources around the world are becoming scarcer (Matare; Rolla). Due to the increase in world population, there is more need for water in places that typically have low rainfall and no clear source of clean water. This has led to an increased use of desalination to gain the margins that these arid populations need. In the southwestern United States, the deserts in northern Africa and the Middle East large desalination projects have been implemented that have yielded tens of thousands of gallons of water every day (Matare). Finding the water has not been an issue, even removing the salt content is not technologically difficult, but producing pure water efficiently is a difficulty.
Since the process requires large amounts of energy, it has traditionally been a process that requires a region where two factors, cheap energy and expensive water, exist. As one researcher said;
"Using energy solely for the purpose of distilling water is prohibitively expensive except in a few areas-notably the Arabian peninsula-where energy is cheap and water is extremely expensive. However, many industrial processes, especially the generation of electricity, produce large amounts of waste heat. Typically the facilities producing this heat are cooled by dissipating the heat into water. This heat can also be used to distill fresh water from saline water used for cooling"
Therefore, finding a way to use common distilling processes more efficiently is the problem that scientists most want to solve. Also, when the process is completed if the water is not too brackish it can be returned to the sea. This is an added advantage of the solar distillation process (Rolla).
Solar distillation can only occur in a very few regions though because of the need for consistent and intensely focused solar rays. One of these issues has been solved through better technology such as paraboloid and now hyperboloid solar concentrators (McConnell and Thompson). Solar concentrators are more energy efficient because they track the sun (Kribus) and produce a great amount of thermal energy which can be used in applications other than just desalination, heating or energy production (Ali, et al.).
The need for energy in the world is greater now that more nations are increasing their industrial capabilities. This industrialization has also focused the world's attention on the fact that fossil fuels are an unsustainable method for future power generation. Because of this fact, engineers continue to try and devise more efficient means for using the sustainable fuel sources available such as solar power.
Since the sun is presently able to direct unquenchable amounts of power toward the earth, it makes since to try and tap these resources. The only problem has been that the means for gathering this energy have been costly, taken large amounts of space, and have been inefficient in gathering the available rays. This is becoming less and less of an issue the more engineers tweak the materials and designs.
History teaches that solar power has been available in some manner for close to three millennia now, and the ability to use the sun gets better with each new technology. With the advent of new hyperboloid technologies, it is now possible to gather nearly all of the rays that enter the collector. With this ability power generation, water desalination and cooling abilities are now available to more regions of the world. Just like when flat plate collectors were fist conceived, these new types of concentrators are making commercial and residential application more realizable. Now, like in ancient times, the use of solar power has become more of a reality because people have reached a point in which they look for all possible means of energy production. These new technologies make humans just a little less reliant on a fuel source that is quickly being depleted, and more open to an energy source which is permanent and unquenchable.
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