Parabolic Trough Research Paper

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Parabolic trough Collector

A parabolic trough is a type of solar thermal collector that is straight in one dimension and curved as a parabola in the other two, lined with a polished metal mirror. The energy of sunlight which enters the mirror parallel to its plane of symmetry is focused along the focal line, where a receiver tube of same length as of parabolic trough is placed in which contains a thermic fluid ( for example water, oil etc the selection of which depends on the heat required at output.) is absorbs the rays which are reflected by parabolic shape mirror surface when trough is aimed towards sun such that the Sun is in its plane of symmetry.

Fig A typical Parabolic Trough Collector

To understands how parabolic trough works first we have to under what is the meaning of concentrated solar power and what are the different technologies comes under this.

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) -

Concentrated solar power systems use mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight, or solar thermal energy, onto a small area. When sun lights focus onto a line this is called as line concentrator and when sun light focus onto a point it is called a point concentrated. Electrical power is produced when the concentrated light is converted to heat which drives a heat
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So it is obvious that an appropriate bearing structure should involve low material and manufacturing costs to keep overall cost low. It has to be taken into consideration that the solar field is the most expensive part of a parabolic trough power plant. For example in the case of the Andasol power plants in Spain the solar field covers 30% of the total costs, that means that a cost reduction of the solar field has an important effect on the total power plant

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