Highly efficient solar trough plant
The novel solar trough plant receiver is customizable based on the solar field needs, providing improvements in the harnessing of solar energy. Unlike conventional parabolic trough solar systems, it has a wider operational temperature range as well as high-efficiency levels which not only reduce land requirements for solar fields but also open up applications in areas with moderate sun exposure.
The trough receiver is designed to eliminate the need for a heat absorbent coating on the heat transfer fluid pipe. This broadens its operating temperature range beyond the degradation threshold of conventional coating materials found on current parabolic trough systems. It also features a cavity opening whose size can be optimised in relation to the length of the receiver, to customise to the design needs of a solar field. The optimisation is undertaken using a proportional relationship between the cavity size and length of the absorber pipe. The cavity opening on the receiver unit has a hot mirror coating whilst the rest of the inner surface is coated with aluminium. This arrangement allows concentrated sunrays to enter the receiver through the cavity, and for heat to be trapped, resulting in higher efficiency.