Parabolic trough power plants

The line focussing solar fields of parabolic trough and linear Fresnel collectors reflect the incident radiation on an absorber positioned in the focal line of the concentrator. The collector tracks the sun in one axis (Fig. 5.14). Due to this "one-dimensional concentration" the geometric concentration factors of 15 to 30 are considerably lower than those of two-dimensional collectors discussed above. This is why lower temperatures are achieved when compared to solar tower power plants. However, this disadvantage is compensated by lower specific costs as well as a simpler structure and maintenance.

Fig. 5.14 Principles of line focussing collectors (a) parabolic troughs, b) Fresnel troughs)

Line focusing solar power plants have a modular structure. Because of this characteristic and the shape of the solar field, line-focussing solar power plants have in the past also been referred to as "solar farms".

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