Innovative installation for parabolic trough testing

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