University of Western Ontario - Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Dr. Kamran Siddiqui

Delay of Publication



The global energy and water crises are looming due to the exponential population growth and the shrinking reserves of conventional fossil fuels and fresh water. The present research is aimed at the development of novel components/technologies that would lead to efficient and affordable concentrated solar thermal systems. A novel dual-axis solar tracking system has been developed, built and extensively tested on a field parabolic dish solar collector model. The tracker has two main novel components; active dual axis tracker; and load compensator. The tracker is characterized with simplicity and reliability. Two geometries of novel conical thermal receivers were designed, constructed and field tested. One cylindrical cavity receiver has also been constructed and compared with the two conical receivers. A parametric study was conducted for all receivers to find the optimum performance conditions. Conical receiver has shown higher conversion efficiency than cylindrical receiver. The optimum thermal conversion efficiency for the conical receiver was found to be more than 90%. The conversion efficiency of cylindrical did not exceed 60%. Two cuboid air receivers (steel and aluminium) with different internal geometry were fabricated and tested under different operating conditions. The steel air receiver was found to be more efficient than the aluminium receiver with the thermal conversion efficiency of up to 49%. A novel water desalination system utilizing solar energy is proposed. This system uses air as working fluid. A theoretical analysis has been performed to assess the system performance.