This paper presents results of a numerical study on the thermal and thermodynamic performance of a
high concentration ratio parabolic trough solar collector using Cu-Therminol VP-1 nanofluid as the heat
transfer fluid. A parabolic trough system with a concentration ratio of 113 and a rim angle of 80 has been
used in this study. The thermal physical properties of both the base fluid and the copper nanoparticles
have been considered temperature dependent. Inlet temperatures in the range 350–650 K and flow rates
in the range 1.22–135 m3 h 1 have been used. The numerical analysis consisted of combined Monte-Carlo
ray tracing and computational fluid dynamics procedures. The Monte-Carlo ray tracing procedure is used
to obtain the actual heat flux profile on the receiver’s absorber tube, which is later coupled to a finite
volume based computational fluid dynamics tool to evaluate the thermal and thermodynamic performance
of the receiver. Results show that the thermal performance of the receiver improves as the
nanoparticle volume fraction increases. The thermal efficiency of the system increases by about 12.5%
as the nanoparticle volume fraction in the base fluid increase from 0% to 6%. The entropy generation rates
in the receiver reduce as the nanoparticle volume fraction increases for some range of Reynolds numbers.
Above a certain Reynolds number, further increase in the Reynolds numbers makes the entropy generation
higher than that of a receiver with only the base fluid.