Solera started to self-design a parabolic trough collector which is a concentrated solar thermal technology.
The operating principle is to concentrate the direct solar radiation onto an absorber tube, by means of a reflective surface, in order to produce high temperatures in the thermal fluid that flows along it. Afterwards the produced thermal energy can be used.
The thermal output is connected to the absorber tube in such a way that it allows the entrance of reflected radiation, and then, it affects the collector´s energy efficiency.
The cleanliness of the reflective surface also influences the collector´s efficiency. If the reflective surface is dirty (E.g. dust layer) the amount of radiation reflected is not the optimal and that reduces the thermal output.
Currently the cleaning is done by hand, and the quantity of water used in this process is not optimized, with the consequent loss of water and efficiency on the utilization of this resource.
Within the REEMAIN an enhanced collector will be developed and tested. The improvements will affect the energy and water efficiency use of the collector thereby contributing to a better management of these resources in the companies, mainly by:
- Analysis, evaluation and testing of new absorber tubes.
- Development of a quality control system
- Development of an automatic cleaning device