An Analysis of the Influence of Geography and Weather on Parabolic Trough Solar Collector Design

[+] Author and Article Information
G. W. Treadwell, N. R. Grandjean, F. Biggs

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M. 87115

J. Sol. Energy Eng 103(2), 98-104 (May 01, 1981) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3266232 History: Received June 16, 1980; Online November 11, 2009


The potential performance of single-axis tracking parabolic trough solar collectors as a function of optical energy distribution and receiver size has been calculated for 11 sites using typical meteorological year input data. A simulation based on the SOLTES code was developed which includes the three-dimensional features of a parabolic trough and calculates the thermooptical tradeoffs. The capability of the thermo-optical model has been confirmed by the comparison of calculated results with the experimental results from an all-day test of a parabolic trough. The results from this 11 site analysis indicate a potential performance superiority of a north-south horizontal axis trough and, in addition, a high quality (optical error, σsystem ≤0.007-radian) collector should be of the same geometric design for all of the sites investigated and probably for all regions of the country.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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