Motivation

As a consequence of the increasingly visible signs of climate change and the international trend to phase out nuclear power, concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies have experienced a new impetus in recent years, especially parabolic trough technologies. To date, parabolic trough is the most mature and bankable CSP technology for electricity and heat generation, and can be utilized in several applications, including, but not limited to:
  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Water desalination
  • Process heat
The primary challenges facing the CSP industry are the reduction of manufacturing and installation costs, as well as increasing the local content of CSP components, especially in the emerging markets and developing countries that have high solar resources.

Costs have been reduced over the last decade by increasing system size, i.e. utilizing larger mirror structures in both width and length, as well as by implementing new and innovative designs. However, further improvements in parabolic troughs have proved difficult, as the industry attempts to achieve high optical precision while minimizing both material and cost in the support structure.

The SOLABOLIC parabolic trough is designed to achieve the following goals:

  • Increasing the economic efficiency of CSP (reducing costs & increasing efficiency)
  • Overcoming manufacturing, transport and size limits
  • Maximizing local content for developing economies