U.S. Department of Energy

Improved Large Aperture Collector Manufacturing

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Abengoa is developing improved processes for rapid solar field manufacturing, assembly and installation, to reduce costs. Picture is a current state-of-the-art Abengoa trough collector.

Abengoa Solar, under theĀ Solar Manufacturing Technology (SolarMat) program, will be investigating the use of an automotive-style high-rate fabrication and automated assembly techniques to achieve a substantial reduction in the deployment cost of their new SpaceTube advanced large aperture parabolic trough collector.


Abengoa will work on manufacturing engineering development and pre-commercial feasibility demonstrations focused in three main areas:

  1. an aggressive manufacturing optimization of the collector sub-structures for lower input material costs & mechanized production;
  2. a low-investment-cost "lean" assembly line system; and,
  3. a standalone quality control inspection applied to the installed collector.


Due to the low tolerance of welded optical assemblies, current trough plants require significant labor, assembly buildings, and large alignment jigs. This project will employ manufacturing such as stamping and automated assembly techniques that demonstrate high accuracy, large aperture troughs with little to no permanent infrastructure at the solar field to reduce, capital, part, and labors costs, resulting in a savings of $30/m2

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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.