Innovative parabolic trough collectors made from concrete
In modern parbolic-trough power plants, the cost of the collector field is about 50% of the entire investment cost. The cost-reduction potential for the common steel structures with pre-formed glass mirrors that can be achieved through “economies of scale” is largely exhausted. Using concrete as the main structural material offers comparatively low material and manufacturing costs, as well as further potential for cost-reduction.
The project ConSol (Concrete Solar Collector) aims to demonstrate the concept of a parabolic trough collector made of concrete at an application-relevant scale. The goal of ConSol is to develop detailed solutions for the manufacture, metal-coating, and tracking together with industry partners, as well as to technologically and economically validate the general concept. The result of the project will be an example trough-collector with dimensions that conform to industry standards.
The objective of the project is development of a parabolic-trough collector with the following characteristics:
The Line Focus Systems and Qualification departments at the DLR institute of solar research coordinate the project and support the consortium in testing the aging process of the mirrors, in the optical measurement of concentrators, and in performing cost comparisons of the parabolic-trough collectors.