A novel genetically-themed hierarchical algorithm (GTHA) has been investigated to design Fresnel-lens solar concentrators that match with the distinct energy input and spatial geometry of various thermal applications. Basic heat transfer analysis of each application decides its solar energy requirement. The GTHA incorporated in MATLAB® optimizes the concentrator characteristics to secure this energy demand, balancing a minimized geometry and a maximized efficiency. The optimum concentrator is then simulated to ensure the algorithm validity.
To verify the algorithmic-optimization and simulation-validation processes, two experimental applications were selected from literature, a solar welding system for H13 steel plates and a solar Stirling engine with an aluminum-cavity receiver attached to the heater section. In each case, a flat Fresnel-lens with a spot focus was algorithmically designed to supply the desired solar heat, and then a computer simulation of the optimized lens was conducted showing great comparability to the original experimental results.
Dr. Hassan Qandil is a Jordanian mechanical engineer with 7+ years of experience in both the oilfield and maintenance businesses, worked as a field engineer on projects in Jordan, Malaysia, UAE and India. Currently a teaching fellow in mechanical and energy engineering at the University of North Texas. Qandil has a PhD degree in Mechanical and Energy Engineering from the University of North Texas (2019), a master’s degree in energy management (2012) and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (2009), both from the University of Jordan.
Qandil’s research focuses on solar energy harvesting, with the use of algorithmically-optimized designs of Fresnel lenses. Through his research, he is committed to commercialize the use of Fresnel-lens concentrators in various applications, while simplifying the process from design to implementation.