Parabolic Solar Concentrators Using Optimized Bands

Problem: Precision parabolic mirrors are expensive to fabricate and to transport. Technology: This invention allow flat mirror elements to be easily fabricated and efficiently packaged and shipped to field sites and assembled into the parabolic trough concentrators with potentially substantial costs reductions compared with conventional methods. The mirror is formed from a thin flat very flexible metal sheet with a highly reflective surface. Attached to the rear surface of the mirror sheet is a backbone band whose figure is optimized to form the reflective sheet into a precision parabola when its two ends are pulled toward each other. Christopher Noble crn@mit.edu

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