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Tracking heat flux sensors for concentrating solar applications

United States Patent

June 11, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
Innovative tracking heat flux sensors located at or near the solar collector's focus for centering the concentrated image on a receiver assembly. With flux sensors mounted near a receiver's aperture, the flux gradient near the focus of a dish or trough collector can be used to precisely position the focused solar flux on the receiver. The heat flux sensors comprise two closely-coupled thermocouple junctions with opposing electrical polarity that are separated by a thermal resistor. This arrangement creates an electrical signal proportional to heat flux intensity, and largely independent of temperature. The sensors are thermally grounded to allow a temperature difference to develop across the thermal resistor, and are cooled by a heat sink to maintain an acceptable operating temperature.
Andraka; Charles E. (Albuquerque, NM), Diver, Jr.; Richard B. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
12/ 955,954
November 30, 2010
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED R&D The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Department of Energy Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 with Sandia Corporation.