Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Design, build and testing of a concentrating solar dish system

Feng, Zhenzhou (2017) Design, build and testing of a concentrating solar dish system. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

PDF - Whole Thesis
Download (2MB) | Preview


This study describes the retrofitting of an old satellite dish as a concentrating solar dish system and investigates the factors that influence its performance concerning power generation. The satellite dish retrofit is viable for future development. The scheme of the project is divided into modelling, simulation, and optimisation. Modelling and simulation for the retrofitted satellite dish have been carried out by using System Advisor Model (SAM) and Franco’s program. According to the simulation results generated by SAM, the target dish can collect a maximum power of 2.987 MWh in January and a minimum power of 0.967 MWh in June. In this thesis, the effects on the system performance of several factors are studied, with factors including solar radiation resources, size of the dish, reflector material, focal point diameter, and cavity receiver thermal losses. Additionally, the theoretical design and analysis for a beta-type Stirling engine that integrates the retrofitted dish are provided as well. The performance of the engine can be enhanced by adopting the appropriate number of heater and cooler tubes to reduce the pumping losses in the regenerator and using more effective fluid. According to the simulation results that were generated by Franco’s program, the optimised peak power of the Stirling engine reaches almost 2.7kW and operates with a thermal efficiency of 43% at an engine speed of 64 Hz. A generator can be connected to keep the Stirling engine running at a constant speed once it reaches its maximum power. The retrofitted system can be used to power a water pump for irrigation purpose.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Parlevliet, David
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year