U.S. Department of Energy

Advanced Low-Cost Receivers for Parabolic Troughs

Norwich Technologies logo Two side-by-side graphics with arrows, the sun overhead, and a collector.

Norwich Technologies is developing an advanced HCE system with improved performance. Approximate reductions in the collector, optical and thermal losses relative to the state-of-the-art are shown.

Norwich Technologies, under the 2012 SunShot Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) R&D FOA, is developing a novel receiver for parabolic trough CSP systems that will dramatically improve performance while substantially reducing acquisition and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs.

Approach

The research team is working to design an advanced CSP receiver that incorporates novel materials and design features to achieve lower cost, higher efficiency, and greater reliability. The goals of this project are to create an advanced trough receiver that:

  • Is less fragile, less expensive, and more efficient than existing receiver tubes
  • Offers better performance at lower cost:  optical efficiency improved by ≥ 5%, thermal losses lowered by 20% (at 400°C) to 67% (at 650°C), acquisition costs reduced by ≥ 25%, and O&M costs that are near zero
  • Does not suffer from vacuum-related failure
  • Will maintain ≥ 90% thermal efficiency, even at 650°C.

Innovation

Norwich Technologies' diverse advances in materials and coatings are capable of revolutionizing all aspects of CSP trough receiver design. This receiver offers the prospect for reduced costs, combined with dramatic efficiency improvements. In addition, the technology enables significant operational and cost advances in parabolic trough CSP, which could potentially enable rapid, widespread adoption in new and retrofitted installations.

Publications, Patents, and Awards

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

SunShot logo

The SunShot CSP R&D program seeks to accelerate progress toward the cost target of $0.06 per kilowatt-hour through novel and revolutionary research into CSP technologies. Learn about other DOE competitive awards for concentrating solar power research that are in progress.