Parabolic trough solar technology is the most proven and lowest cost large-scale solar power technology available today, primarily because of the nine large commercial-scale solar power plants that are operating in the California Mojave Desert. These plants, developed by Luz International Limited and referred to as Solar Electric Generating Systems (SEGS), range in size from 14–80 MW and represent 354 MW of installed electric generating capacity. More than of parabolic trough collector technology has been operating daily for up to 18 years, and as the year 2001 ended, these plants had accumulated 127 years of operational experience. The Luz collector technology has demonstrated its ability to operate in a commercial power plant environment like no other solar technology in the world. Although no new plants have been built since 1990, significant advancements in collector and plant design have been made possible by the efforts of the SEGS plants operators, the parabolic trough industry, and solar research laboratories around the world. This paper reviews the current state of the art of parabolic trough solar power technology and describes the R&D efforts that are in progress to enhance this technology. The paper also shows how the economics of future parabolic trough solar power plants are expected to improve.
Advances in Parabolic Trough Solar Power Technology
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the ASME Solar Energy Division, July 2001; final revision, January 2002. Associate Editor: R. Pitz-Paal.
Price, H., Lu¨pfert, E., Kearney, D., Zarza, E., Cohen , G., Gee, R., and Mahoney, R. (April 24, 2002). "Advances in Parabolic Trough Solar Power Technology ." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. May 2002; 124(2): 109–125. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1467922
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