FLABEG, together with schlaich bergermann und partner, is working on a collector design to improve efficiency and reduce cost by up to 25% for concentrating solar power (CSP) parabolic trough plants.
Since January 2010, a high-level engineering team from Flabeg have been developing a brand new solar collector: the Ultimate Trough. This innovative collector design has been further supported by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the Fraunhofer Society, Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (FhG IML) and will be about 25% more cost-effective than the current standard parabolic trough, the Eurotrough, by lowering specific cost (Euros per square metre—m2) and improving performance.
The Ultimate Trough will be optimised for large solar fields in the range of 500,000 m2 (~5.4 million square feet—ft2) to 2,500,000 m2 (~27 million ft2) aperture area. A larger diameter of the heat collection elements, supported by improved selective coatings with lower emissivity, allows a solar field design with lower specific parasitic consumption and less piping in the solar field. Also, the number of drives, sensors and controls is reduced by more than 50%. In addition, the number of units to be assembled, checked, mounted, aligned and commissioned will be reduced by using larger solar collector elements. The highly efficient solar mirrors with a new dimension of 4 m2 (~43 ft2) will guarantee a superior and unprecedented performance.
Paul Nava, manager business development, and his engineering team extend Flabeg’s scope to engineering services and project development support in the realm of parabolic trough technology. Currently, a prototype consisting of two collector elements is being tested in preparation for a demonstration loop in the US where two Solar Collector Assemblies (SCAs) will be running in the Solar Energy Generating System (SEGS) VIII plant during the spring of 2012 to validate the performance improvements.
As the pioneer of concentrated solar energy technology with a worldwide network, Flabeg produces mirrors for all Concentrating Solar Power technologies: parabolic trough, dishes, tower Fresnel, linear Fresnel and concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) applications. Due to the latest coating technologies, Flabeg solar mirrors are characterised by a reflectivity of more than 95%. The robust mirrors have been installed in the first commercially operated power stations since the 1980s and have been in daily operation now for more than 25 years without any loss of performance.
The number of drives, sensors and controls is reduced by more than 50%. In addition the number of units to be assembled, checked, mounted, aligned and commissioned will be reduced by larger CSP collector elements. The solar mirrors will have a dimension of 4 m2.
A prototype consisting of two CSP collector elements is currently being tested in preparation for a demonstration loop in the US where two Solar Collector Assembly (SCAs) will be running in the SEGS VIII plant during spring of the next year to validate the significant performance improvements.