Parabolic light reflector calculator

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parabolic light reflector calculator

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parabolic light reflector calculator

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What is a Parabolic Reflector

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How to 3D print single and multi-colored backlit surfaces. A starter guide on designing for additive manufacturing. How to design parabolic, hyperbolic, elliptical reflectors for 3D printing.You can design many solar reflectors for solar cookers, and other things that need reflectors, without doing any mathematics.

In fact you can often get by knowing just two things:. If you are pointing directly at the sun then the sun's ray are arriving straight at you across your entire reflector. The angle that a sun's ray reflects off your reflector is the same as the angle that it arrived at. This is also true if you're designing a parabolic solar cooker see belowfunnel solar cooker, CooKit, Pavarti, or any kind of solar cooker that has reflectors. A helpful rule of thumb, shown below, that works for many designs is that the only sun's ray you need to worry about is the one that reflects off the top of your reflector.

All sun's rays that reflect lower down will hit your target surface somewhere as long as the top ray hits your target on the opposite side. This is made use of in the calculators below.

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Solar box oven cookers cannot always be tilted to face the sun if the sun is low in the sky. Doing so may cause the cooking pot to tip over, or if the pot is on a swivel base, it may already be at it's maximum swivel angle.

To handle this situation you'd tilt the oven as much as you can. Then, as shown in the following diagram, you'd put the top reflector on a very steep angle and the bottom reflector on a very shallow angle. Note that the angles are adjusted below such that the angles that the sun's rays reflect off the reflectors are the same as the angles that the sun's rays arrived at the reflectors. This is just as is decribed at the very top above as the number 2 thing to know.

A handy tool for measuring angles is a protractor.

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If you don't have one the you can download and print one from here. The capture area is basically the amount of sunlight you're capturing and then concentrating using the reflectors. It's basically the size of the hole made by the top of the reflectors. If you're not familiar with this concept the click here for a page all about sunlight capture areas. So does simply making the reflectors longer while keeping the angle the same as shown in the following diagram improve the capture area?

The answer is no, since the sun's rays that strike the top of the reflector will eventually reflect back out without hitting the target area and the cooking pot in a solar cooking oven in this example.

So you have to change the angle as well as the reflector length see the following diagram. Two methods are given below to show how to do this. However, you can see that as you increase the reflector length, and hence the total height of the reflector, more and more, the improvement you get in capture area is less and less.

How to design solar reflectors for solar cookers

If you really want to increase your capture area a lot then a better way is to start moving your target in front of the reflector as shown in the following diagram. Compare the capture area of the parabolic reflector below, square inches, to the capture area of rightmost reflector above, square inches. Note: they are both drawn with the same scale. A calculator for working out your capture area for some types of reflectors without doing any math is given below.Drop files here or Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, pdf, stp, doc, cad, z, zip, txt.

To reduce Spam entries, this form's Submit button is hidden until you answer: Comments This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. The electroforming manufacturing method generates an exact copy via replication in metal typically nickel of a master mandrel by a process called electrodeposition. Specific benefits of electroforming are low unit costs, exact atomic scale, repeatability and excellent process control for quality. Often times the design engineer will find electroforming is preferred for many applications requiring a complex true geometric shape form factor, thin walls, and high repeatability.

Parabolic Reflectors. Parabolic Reflector Diagram. An electroformed parabolic reflector is a parabola-shaped reflective surface used to collect and direct wave energy such as light. Need a Custom Parabolic Refelctor? Contact Us. Please complete the following to send us a message about your custom parabolic reflector:. Drop files here or. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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Testing a Parabolic Reflector with Light from an LED

Electroforming Process The electroforming manufacturing method generates an exact copy via replication in metal typically nickel of a master mandrel by a process called electrodeposition. Markets We Serve.Parabolic reflectors are used in many applications, including: flashlights, optical telescopes, radio telescopes, solar ovens, and even for picking up on-field sounds from the sidelines at football games.

What is so special about the parabaloid shape that makes it useful in so many applications? A parabola is a two-dimensional curve consisting of the points that are equidistant from a point called the focus and a line called the directrix. Figure 1 Weisstein, illustrates the essentials. The left half of the figure shows the directrix, the vertex, and the focus of the parabola. The vertex is at the origin, 0, 0. The focus, F is thus at the point a ,0. The right half of the figure shows graphically that the points of the parabolic curve are equidistant from L and F.

A parabola is drawn next to a vertical line labeled the directrix. The closest point to the directrix on the parabola is the vertex and a focal point is located opposite the directrix line at the same distance from the directrix line to the vertex. All points on a parabola are shown to be equidistant from the focus point and the directrix line.

The right half of Figure 1 also implies a property that makes the parabolic shape so useful in the reflector applications mentioned previously. So the parabolic curve is useful in flashlights because it directs the light in a strong beam out the front.

Conversely, waves parallel to the parabola's axis of symmetry are reflected to pass through the point, F. In the other applications above, the parabolic reflector is acting as a receivercollecting parallel waves over its surface and reflecting them to the point F.

Both situations are illustrated in Figure 2 Weisstein, In this project you will build two cylindrical parabolic reflectors and measure how well they send light. One of the reflectors will be equipped with an LED, the other with a light detector.

Before getting started, here is some information about how LEDs work. An LED light-emitting diode is a special kind of diode that produces light see Figure 1.

Figure 3.Why are parabolic reflectors as part of antenna systems so common? The reason is that they provide a very high directivity. In this problem you will learn about this very basic concept of antenna theory to quantify emitters and receivers at the examples of a dipolea " half-dipole " and a parabolic reflector. How does the directivity change? Let us first consider the calculation of directivity for the dipole and "half-dipole" to familiarize with the concept.

Then we will come to the parabolic reflector where we will have to work a little more to find a meaningful expression for the directivity.

Now to the half-dipole in the focus of a prabolic reflector. This is very bad from two perspectives. From a mathematical viewpoint, this energy density only makes sense inside an integral, i. Also from a physical point of view it is not really convincing since diffraction will cause the energy density to be distributed. We may include this effect to find a somehow more meaningful directivity than just infinity: we may simply introduce the radius of the reflector as an effective circular aperture.

We may further assume a plane wave illumination with constant amplitudesee figure on the left. Otherwise, the intensity in the Fraunhofer diffraction would be more complicated to calculate. In turn, the directivity would be higher and our result is hence a lower limit for the directivity. Nevertheless, this kind of result can be expected for such a small wavelength and this extremely big aperture since the intensity is basically a delta-peak. In reality, an antenna will always have a lower directivity since it may be impossible to produce an ideal parabolic reflector.

Surface roughness, position of the dipole, absorption by the source as geometrical obstacle will be the main fabrication limitations. There are also a few other things one has to bare in mind like the angular dependence of the reflection of the dipole's radiation, the losses in the reflector etc.

In the end, the directivity may be lowered by several orders of magnitude - but it will still be an absolutely impressive number. This lets us understand why parabolic antennas are indeed used in a lot of applications where directivity is extremely important like telescopes in astrophysics or as receiver for broadcast signals from satelites. The Directivity of a Parabolic Reflector Why are parabolic reflectors as part of antenna systems so common?

Show Solution.

parabolic light reflector calculator

Show Solution Let us first consider the calculation of directivity for the dipole and "half-dipole" to familiarize with the concept.

Circuit Theory. Transmission Lines Basic A. Full Electrodynamics. Related Articles.Drop files here or Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, pdf, stp, doc, cad, z, zip, txt.

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To reduce Spam entries, this form's Submit button is hidden until you answer: Email This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. The electroforming manufacturing method generates an exact copy via replication in metal typically nickel of a master mandrel by a process called electrodeposition.

Specific benefits of electroforming are low unit costs, exact atomic scale, repeatability and excellent process control for quality. Often times the design engineer will find electroforming is preferred for many applications requiring a complex true geometric shape form factor, thin walls, and high repeatability. Off-Axis Parabolic Reflectors.

Off-Axis Parabolic Reflector Diagram. An off-axis parabolic reflector achromatically directs a collimated beam of light to or from a focal point. Contact Us. Please complete the following to send us a message about your custom OAP reflector:. Drop files here or. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Related Products. Electroforming Process The electroforming manufacturing method generates an exact copy via replication in metal typically nickel of a master mandrel by a process called electrodeposition.

Markets We Serve. OAP 5. OAP The Problem Traditional light sources produce light in all directions. For recessed lighting, the parabolic reflector was the optimal design for these sources because it redirected the light down and out of the aperture. However LEDs are a directional source and, therefore, pose a new challenge for optical design. When these directional sources are used with traditional reflectors, the parabolic shape focuses the light like a convex lens, resulting in a bright ring on the work plane.

To achieve uniformity, a diffuser or mixing chamber must be used, but these result in a loss of light. The Solution After much experimenting, Indy engineers discovered that the optimal design for directional sources is the hyperbolic reflector.

The hyperbolic shape spreads light like a concave lens for an extremely uniform distribution, eliminating the need for diffusers or mixing chambers. The geometry of the hyperbolic curve eliminates source image in the reflector as any reflected light is directed down toward the work plane.

The Benefits In addition, the hyperbolic surface shields the light that would be incident on the lower portion of the reflector, eliminating any aperture brightness. The hyperbolic reflector also reduces the amount of light-source regression required for glare control by increasing the shielding angle, thereby reducing the profile of the downlight housing.

In addition to the glare-free, silent ceiling effect, the unique curvature of the hyperbolic shape produces these additional benefits.

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parabolic light reflector calculator

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