Mean Wind Loading on Parabolic-Trough Solar Collectors

[+] Author and Article Information
D. E. Randall

Small Power Systems Applications Division, 4717, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N. Mex. 87185

D. D. McBride, R. E. Tate

Experimental Aerodynamics Division, 5634, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N. Mex. 87185

J. Sol. Energy Eng 103(4), 313-322 (Nov 01, 1981) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3266259 History: Received September 21, 1981; Online November 11, 2009


Two wind-tunnel force and moment tests have been conducted on parabolic-trough solar collector configurations. The two tests were conducted in different flow field environments, one a uniform flow infinite airstream, the second a simulated atmospheric boundary layer flow with the models simulating a ground-mounted installation. The force and moment characteristics of both isolated single-module troughs and of trough modules within array configurations have been defined over both operational and stow attitudes. The influence of various geometric design parameters for collector modules and arrays has been established. Data indicate that forces and in general the pitching moment increase with mounting height and with trough aspect ratio. Collector modules interior to large arrays experience wind force reductions as high as 50–65 percent, while appropriate fences or berms surrounding the arrays can provide exterior modules with protection of this order.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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