Structural analysis of stretched membrane reflector modules using advanced composites
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe concept of achieving low cost (≈ $20/m²) and ultra low weight (5 kg/m²) for heliostats is explored theoretically and experimentally. The objective of this work is to significantly improve the cost and performance of the structure under concern, without sacrificing strength and efficiency. The focus is on an innovative design of stretched-membrane heliostats. A reflective membrane of thin film is supported by a taut fishnet structural membrane consisting of graphite fiber-polymer matrix composite. The reflective and structural membranes are attached to a ring frame made of wood. The nonlinear problem of stress-strain analysis is formulated and solved using the finite-element code NASTRAN. The analysis is done for loads which include the initial stretching of the film and structural membrane and the pressure load due to wind. The scope of the present work is limited to analyzing the structural deformation behavior of flat-plate heliostats and partial extension to parabolic and semi-hemispherical dish reflectors.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering