Mechanical development of the actuation system of a parabolic solar trough
Author(s)O'Rourke, Conor R. (Conor Rakis)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Alexander H. Slocum.
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This thesis documents my personal contribution to the engineering and design of an actuation system with the purpose of rotating a parabolic solar trough to track the sun throughout the day. The primary focus of the design was to create a robust system with minimal cost while meeting a number of functional requirements. After considering a number of possible designs and conducting an in-depth analysis into two of them, the final design chosen was a slider crank mechanism that rotates the trough about its focus. This mechanism uses a lead screw to drive the base of two passively extensible arms in a lateral direction and translates that force into a rotational motion. Whichever arm is in compression actuates the trough. One of these bases is driven by the lead screw while the other is fixed a distance away using a rigid connection. The model for this system was optimized for cost and design simplicity resulting in the selection and purchase of parts for a full scale prototype at a site in New Hampshire using one 4ft lead screw and a 0.16 horsepower motor to drive each end of the trough.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 47).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology