A new symmetric nonimaging parametric trough collector (PmTC) for an evacuated circular receiver is proposed having an absorber diameter of 70 mm similar to the LS3/Eurotrough absorber one, and a circular secondary. The optical design method is explained and a sensitivity analysis is conducted with respect to the diameter of the secondary and to the acceptance angle. In the design process, transmission, absorption, and reflection losses are neglected. A secondary mirror radius of 145 mm and an acceptance angle of ±14 mrad were chosen as realistic values. For these values a concentrator geometry having 8.7 m gross aperture and 100% intercept factor for rays impinging on the primary within the referred acceptance angle is obtained producing a net concentration ratio relative to the thermodynamic ideal limit of 0.52 compared to 0.31 for traditional parabolic trough collectors. The new concentrator is composed of a primary discontinuous reflector with two symmetrical portions with parametric geometry, and a central parabolic portion located between the other two. The ensemble secondary receiver can be dressed up with the secondary concentrator manufactured by partially mirroring a diameter adapted glass tube—either internally or externally—or alternatively by means of a commercial evacuated receiver and an independent 145 mm radius arc of circumference external secondary reflector. Monte Carlo ray-tracing results show that only 15% of the rays undergo secondary reflection before arriving to the absorber and a sharp angle transmission curve. The new concentrator is proposed for application in solar thermal energy (STE) trough power plants.

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