Clay-Brick Firing in a High-Temperature Solar Furnace

G. Villeda-Muñoz, A. Castañeda-Miranda, R. C. Pless, J. T. Vega-Durán, J. Pineda-Piñón


The firing process for clay-brick production in traditional kilns generates atmospheric pollution when industrial and domestic scrap is used as fuel. An alternative is presented here, using the solar energy for clay-brick firing. We are developing a system for clay-brick firing to reach temperatures between 900°C and 1050°C; these temperatures are sufficiently high to fire bricks or similar ceramic products. The present paper describes the design and characterization of the components of a solar furnace for clay-brick firing with inner chamber dimensions of 0.48 × 0.61 × 0.64 m. To convey the sunlight to the firing chamber, a heliostat with nine 1 × 1 m mirrors is used to send the rays of the sun to an off-axis parabolic concentrator that focuses the light on the entrance of the firing chamber. The heliostat has a solar-tracking system which makes primary and secondary adjustments to assure that the reflected solar radiation always arrives at the concentrator. The firing chamber contains a prismatic cavity that absorbs the solar radiation to generate the heat which is needed for baking the bricks inside the firing chamber.

Palabras clave

atmospheric pollution; clay-brick firing; fossil fuels; heliostat; high-temperature solar furnace; solar energy

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