As we pursue efforts to lower the capital and installation costs of parabolic trough solar collectors, it is essential to maintain high optical performance. While there are many optical tools available to measure the reflector slope errors of parabolic trough solar collectors, there are few tools to measure the absorber alignment. A new method is presented here to measure the absorber alignment in two dimensions to within 0.5 cm. The absorber alignment is measured using a digital camera and four photogrammetric targets. Physical contact with the receiver absorber or glass is not necessary. The alignment of the absorber is measured along its full length so that sagging of the absorber can be quantified with this technique. The resulting absorber alignment measurement provides critical information required to accurately determine the intercept factor of a collector.

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