Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Robert F. Boehm

Number of Pages



This paper reports work underway in converting a dish-Stirling system to a dish-PV system at UNLV. The existing SAIC dish---Stirling system is being retrofitted with new fixed-focus facets and an Amonix photovoltaic receiver to replace the Stirling-engine/generator package. As is the case with photovoltaic systems generally, the Amonix cells being used in this application tend to lose efficiency as their temperatures increase. To combat this effect, cooling is provided by circulating liquid through channels in the backing plate. The liquid is then pumped through an array of automotive type radiators and the excess heat is rejected to the ambient air; Reported here is the development of a numerical model for the cooling system. Experimental data are taken to determine the various properties of the individual components to be used in the system and these data are used in a MATLAB-based simulation. The cooling system model can then be linked to a similar model for the receiver and cell assembly and the optimization functions included in MATLAB can be used to select the input parameters (liquid flow rate, number of radiators, air flow rate, etc.) that maximize the overall efficiency of the system. The predictions of the model can be used in the selection of the final cooling system design and the validity of the model can be checked against the actual performance of the unit.


Concentrated; Cooling; Photovoltaic; Simulation; System

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering

File Format


File Size

2150.4 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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