Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/1335
Date of Award
MS in Mechanical Engineering
The Scheffler reflector is a new solar concentrator design which maintains a fixed focus while only having a single axis tracking mechanism. This design makes the construction and operation of high temperature solar concentrators accessible to developing nations. In this project, I wrote computer simulation codes to better understand the dynamics and the effect of deformation or deviations from ideal conditions in order to define necessary manufacturing and operational tolerances. These tools and knowledge drove the prototyping of new reflector concepts by myself and other students on my team. A fiberglass prototype was able to drive the cost of a reflector to sub-$50 and a wood reflector was manufactured with accessible materials and techniques used in boat building.