Mechanical Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



The possibility of increasing the efficiency of fixed solar thermal collectors without greatly adding to the cost or complexity of the overall solar collection system was studied. The focus was on the use of flat mirrors, which would accomplish this goal by capturing the morning sunlight during the summer non-peak solar collection time while maintaining the balance of the system within its existing design specifications, allowing the system to perform at a higher capacity factor. A 150kWt solar heating and cooling system operates within the Mechanical Engineering Building at the University of New Mexico and was the basis for a simulation model and validation testing. The use of flat mirrors to increase solar energy collection is a cheaper alternative to the purchase of additional solar collectors and results show that the reflectors, properly installed on a solar thermal collection system, can reduce the cost of cooling by 20% without further modification to the existing system.


Solar collectors--Efficiency, Solar heating--Passive systems--Efficiency.

Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Vorobieff, Peter

Second Committee Member

Razani, Arsalan


United States Department of Energy (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act)

Document Type