Solar energy captured by a curved collector designed for architectural integration Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2014

start page

  • 66

end page

  • 75


  • 116

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 0306-2619

electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)

  • 1872-9118


  • In this paper we present a prototype for a new type of solar thermal collector designed for architectural integration. In this proposal, the conventional geometry of a flat solar thermal collector is changed to a curved geometry, to improve its visual impact when mounted on a building facade or roof. The mathematical equations for the beam and diffuse solar radiation received by a collector with this geometry are developed for two different orientations, horizontal and vertical. The performance of this curved prototype, in terms of solar radiation received, is compared with a conventional tilted-surface collector for different orientations in Madrid (Spain). The comparison is made for typical clear-sky days in winter and summer as well as for an entire year. The results demonstrate that the curved collector only receives between 12% and 25% less radiation than the conventional tilted-surface collectors when oriented horizontally, depending on the azimuth of the curved surface, although these percentages are reduced to approximately 50% when the collector is oriented vertically.