U.S. Department of Energy

Next-Generation Parabolic Trough Collectors and Components for CSP Applications

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Abengoa is developing next-generation collectors that incorporate aggressive cost-reduction strategies, including a larger tracking array size, new space frame and mirror technologies, streamlined construction, and improved designs for several key components.

Abengoa Solar, under the CSP R&D FOA, is developing the technology needed to build a competitive parabolic trough industry for the U.S. utility market.


The research team aims to develop alternative collector structures, components, and field deployment techniques among its project objectives. The goal is to move away from the limitations of:

  • Current technologies that rely on glass reflectors and receiver tubes from limited suppliers
  • Traditional structures that employ conventional installation practices.

Abengoa is working to reduce the cost of collector technologies so they are competitively priced, but benefit from state and federal incentives targeted to stimulate market entry. In the longer term, the team hopes to employ innovative approaches to developing the next generation of lower-cost parabolic trough technologies that can compete on an equal footing with conventional power generation.


Abengoa is focusing on improving an existing aluminum space frame design with larger aperture width (5.8 m) to advance manufacturabilty, assembly, and installation. Meanwhile the mid-term prototype builds on these advances incorporating more efficient frame technology and an even larger aperture width (>7 m) to realize significant further cost savings.

By the end of this project, Abengoa intends to have developed a near-term (<$235/m2) and mid-term (<$0.12/kWh) parabolic trough collector.

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

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