A Theoretical Overlay Photographic (TOP) alignment method uses the overlay of a theoretical projected image of a perfectly aligned concentrator on a photographic image of the concentrator to align the mirror facets of a parabolic trough solar concentrator. The alignment method is practical and straightforward, and inherently aligns the mirror facets to the receiver. When integrated with clinometer measurements for which gravity and mechanical drag effects have been accounted for and which are made in a manner and location consistent with the alignment method, all of the mirrors on a common drive can be aligned and optimized for any concentrator orientation.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.