U.S. Department of Energy

Low-Cost Solar Thermal Collector

SunTrough Energy logo Rendering of an L-shaped metal frame faced to the sky.

Pictured is a single-axis tracking, line-focus solar concentrator based on articulating planar Fresnel collector geometry.

SunTrough, under the Baseload CSP FOA, is developing a new class of solar concentrators with geometries and manufacturability that can significantly reduce the fully installed cost of the solar collector field.

Approach

SunTrough Energy is working to develop a single-axis tracking, line-focus solar concentrator and a pilot manufacturing facility under this award. The new Articulating Planar Fresnel Collector (APFC) design is supported by dedicated component manufacturing facilities and supply chain management.

Innovation

The APFC incorporates the geometry of the linear Fresnel reflector with the single-pivot tracking of the conventional parabolic trough collector. This has two distinct advantages over existing CSP designs:

  • Compared to a parabolic trough, the unit is subjected to lower wind loads, which translates into less structural support metal and smaller/simpler foundations and drives.
  • Compared to a linear Fresnel, the unit eliminates the individually tracked mirror facets.

The design utilizes a stationary receiver and near-flat linear mirror sections assembled in a planar section. The APFC is designed with smaller, identical parts for mass manufacturability and rapid field integration.

Publications, Patents, and Awards

At this time, this project does not have published articles, patents, or awards.

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Quarterly Progress Reports

CSP Program Overview

Learn about other DOE competitive awards for concentrating solar power research that are in progress.