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Next Generation Parabolic Trough Solar Collectors for CSP

[+] Author Affiliations
Daniel T. Chen, Attila Molnar

3M Renewable Energy Division, St. Paul, MN

Glenn Reynolds, Gary Curtis, Dean Hackbarth, Robert Vezzuto

Gossamer Space Frames, Huntington Beach, CA

Allison Gray, Ben Ihas

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

Paper No. ES2012-91511, pp. 631-635; 5 pages
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2012 10th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, July 23–26, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4481-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


In order for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) to become a significant contributor to utility scale baseload power, dramatic reductions in cost and increases in performance must be achieved. 3M Company and Gossamer Space Frames have developed advanced collectors that are centered on a step-change in solar technology aimed at transforming the economics and industrialization of CSP. In particular, we focus on mirror film based reflective materials, stiff and shape accurate panel constructions, and lightweight and accurate space frames. These technology elements have been combined into a new parabolic collector design with an aperture of 7.3 m and length of 12 m. The geometric concentration ratio of the design is 103, far exceeding current designs. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has measured an intercept factor exceeding 99% on the subject collector fielded at SEGS II (Daggett, CA). The successful implementation of this technology platform has implications for new solar collector designs for both point and line focus systems.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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