Solar thermal energy is an alternative to provide heat for low-enthalpy processes at commercial and residential sectors in communities with energy sources scarcity. The present work is focused in the experimental performance analysis of a parabolic trough collector (PTC) designed and manufactured to minimize construction costs by setting the best parabolic profile and rim angle to improve thermal efficiency through enhancing light reflection in its parabolic surface, compound by conventional flat mirrors. The design considers an uncovered copper alloy receiver aligned with the focus of the reflective surface supported on a light metal structure. Sunlight collection area was defined at 1.2 m2 to allow installation of serial or parallel modular arrangements at reduced spaces like a building rooftop, the concentration ratio for this PTC is close to 33. This device was designed to use water as heat transfer fluid (HTF) and to be operated under environmental conditions of the city of Barranquilla, Efficiency curves were obtained based on experimental tests conducted with multiple HTF flow rate and varying reflecting surface slope for one PTC, obtaining a peak efficiency of 48 % and a without a tracking system. This device can be manufactured with a cost close to 80 USD/m2.

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