A parabolic trough collector has been developed for various applications in the 200–400°C temperature range in solar fields up to the hundreds Megawatts range. The design of a new support structure of the collector included concept studies, wind tunnel measurements, finite elements method (FEM) analyses and resulted in a structure with a central framework element. This torque box design will have lower weight and less deformation of the collector structure than the other designs considered. Therefore it will be possible in future to connect more collector elements on one drive which results in reduced total number of drives and interconnecting pipes, thus reducing the installation cost and thermal losses. In terms of the degree of material usage further weight reduction will be possible. The presented design has a significant potential for cost reduction, the most important goal of the EuroTrough project. The prototype has been set-up and is under testing at PSA (Plataforma Solar de Almería) for its thermal and mechanical properties.

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