Determining the optical properties of PETAL, the 400 m2 parabolic dish at Sede Boqer

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    12 Scopus citations


    PETAL (Parabolic Energy Transformation and Astrophysics Laboratory) is a large multipurpose dish-shaped concentrator, located at Sede Boqer. Its 2-axis tracking paraboloidal surface, with aperture area in excess of 400m2, is constructed from 216 adjustable mirror panels. The very large aperture and high concentration ratio of PETAL render the direct characterization of its optical performance a nontrivial task. We have applied a variety of methods in order to assess PETAL'S optical quality. These include imaging the full moon and Jupiter at night, and analysis of the 3-D caustic image produced by the scattering of focused sunlight off particles in the air. The main results of these studies, together with the preliminary results of measurements on 36 individual panels, are presented here. Among the three measurements that look at objects of the same angular size (i.e. the sun and moon), the average image size (i.e. radius of circle containing 90% of the intensity) is 0.247±0.012 m, demonstrating a 5% spread about the mean for three different methods. This result is in agreement with 0.22 m for the Jupiter image. Successful application of these methods for characterization of PETAL proves their applicability to more commonly used solar dishes of smaller sizes but with similar or better concentration ratios.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)827-832
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1 Aug 2004


    • CCD Camera
    • Caustic Surface
    • Concentration Ratio
    • Jupiter
    • Mirror Panels
    • Moon
    • Optical Performance
    • PETAL

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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