Parabolic Trough Collectors are the most mature technology to concentrate the sunlight for energy conversion into electricity. They have proven their capacities since the commercial introduction in the 1980’s in the Californian Mojave Desert. Their advantages are the on-axis optical design and the high quality of the components, leading to high efficiency. Peak solar-to-electric efficiency is 23-26%.
Many of the currently applied collector designs are based on the LUZ designs and the EuroTrough design. Curved mirrors are required to efficiently focus the radiation onto the absorber with a high concentration and good intercept factor.
Heat transfer fluid is typically synthetic oil, water/steam and molten salt have been demonstrated at pilot scale and are promising candidates for the next generation of power plants.