Since January 2010, a high level engineering team comprised of both companies is developing a brand new solar thermal collector – the "Ultimate Trough". The innovative collector design has been further supported by DLR (German Aerospace Center) and the FhG IML (Fraunhofer Society, Institute for material flow and logistics), and due to Flabeg will be about 25% more cost effective compared to the current standard parabolic trough, the Eurotrough, by lowering specific cost (EUR/m²) and improving performance.
Ultimate Trough for large solar fields
The Ultimate Trough will be optimized for large solar fields in the range of 500,000 to 2,500,000 m² aperture area. A larger diameter of the heat collection elements, supported by improved selective coatings with lower emissivity, allows a solar field design with lower specific parasitic consumption and less piping in the solar field. Also the number of drives, sensors and controls is reduced by more than 50%.
Innovation for more competitive concentrated solar thermal power technology
In addition, the number of units to be assembled, checked, mounted, aligned and commissioned will be reduced by larger solar collector elements. The highly efficient solar mirrors with a new dimension of 4m² will guarantee a superior and unprecedented performance, the developers emphasize.
"With this new collector development FLABEG makes concentrated solar thermal power technology more competitive" Manager Business Development Paul Nava said. He and his engineering team extend FLABEG’s scope to engineering services and project development support in the realm of parabolic trough technology.
Currently a Prototype, consisting of two collector elements, is being tested in preparation for a demonstration loop in the US where two SCAs (Solar Collector Assembly) will be running in the SEGS VIII plant during spring of the next year to validate the significant performance improvements.