skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Phase II Final Report

The SkyTrough DSP will advance the state-of-the-art in parabolic troughs for utility applications, with a larger aperture, higher operating temperature, and lower cost. The goal of this project was to develop a parabolic trough collector that enables solar electricity generation in the 2020 marketplace for a 216MWe nameplate baseload power plant. This plant requires an LCOE of 9¢/kWhe, given a capacity factor of 75%, a fossil fuel limit of 15%, a fossil fuel cost of $6.75/MMBtu, $25.00/kWht thermal storage cost, and a domestic installation corresponding to Daggett, CA. The result of our optimization was a trough design of larger aperture and operating temperature than has been fielded in large, utility scale parabolic trough applications: 7.6m width x 150m SCA length (1,118m2 aperture), with four 90mm diameter × 4.7m receivers per mirror module and an operating temperature of 500°C. The results from physical modeling in the System Advisory Model indicate that, for a capacity factor of 75%: The LCOE will be 8.87¢/kWhe. SkyFuel examined the design of almost every parabolic trough component from a perspective of load and performance at aperture areas from 500 to 2,900m2. Aperture-dependent design was combined with fixed quotations for similar parts from the commercialized SkyTrough product,more » and established an installed cost of $130/m2 in 2020. This project was conducted in two phases. Phase I was a preliminary design, culminating in an optimum trough size and further improvement of an advanced polymeric reflective material. This phase was completed in October of 2011. Phase II has been the detailed engineering design and component testing, which culminated in the fabrication and testing of a single mirror module. Phase II is complete, and this document presents a summary of the comprehensive work.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Project Manager
  2. Principle Investigator
  3. Research Engineer
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DE-SKYFUEL-EE0003584 0000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Program (EE-2A)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY Parabolic; Trough; Aperture; Efficiency