Innovative installation for parabolic trough testing

The new test stand for parabolic trough collectors in Spain  (Graphic: CTAER)
The new test stand for parabolic trough collectors in Spain (Graphic: CTAER)

The Advanced Technology Centre for Renewable Energies (CTAER) from Spain has signed a contract with IDOM engineering to start work on the construction of the variable geometry testing facility for the evaluation and characterization of solar collectors of the parabolic trough type. The construction phase has already begun.

The project aims to build infrastructure for research and development of technologies that produce thermosolar energy, in the present case for those that use parabolic trough collectors, which are the most used collector type.

This engineering project is based on a variable geometry, where the test systems are not fixed but can follow the sun’s apparent movement. The versatility of the new infrastructure incorporates greater capacities than those that currently exist. They will make it possible to test new components and systems and a high level of thermal, optical-structural and fluid dynamic evaluations of parabolic trough collectors. This will allow development and experimental validation of rules, and standardized characterization and evaluation procedures for this type of collectors.

The new infrastructure will be located on land owned by CTAER in the municipality of Tabernas in the province of Almeria, Spain. Site work will begin in July and finish approximately in November 2013.

Jan Gesthuizen

Similar Entries

The new parabolic trough collector that perSolar displayed at the Intersolar Europe in Munich. (Photo: Jan Gesthuizen)

The Berlin-based start-up company perSolar unveiled a new off-grid parabolic trough collector at the Intersolar Europe in Munich. It allows conventional pipes to be used as absorber tubes.

The new mirror is designed for parabolic trough collectors like the Ultimate trough. (Photo: Flabeg)

German Flabeg FE GmbH has presented its next generation parabolic trough mirror. The new mirror is the next stage of chemical reinforced annealed parabolic trough mirrors showing further increased mechanical resistance.

To find new design methods for offshore wind farms, Dong Energy and ESG have tested 28 wind turbine piles at two different offshore locations with typical North Sea conditions. First results indicate large opportunities for cost reductions in the offshore wind sector.

The parabolic dish collector is specifically designt for harsh conditions in remote desert regions. (Photo: ZED Solar)

Solar thermal power plants with highly concentrating collectors that are located in deserts usually have an abundance of sunlight to generate energy with. Unfortunately, the mirrors must also be cleaned regularly and water is scarce and expensive in such regions. Maintenance work in remote areas is time-consuming and not exactly inexpensive.