In this paper are presented the results of designing a parabolic trough solar collector (PTSC), and its application in a solar thermal system for the production of process heat. Implementing a series of innovations in the structural form, the material selection and the adoption of new manufacturing processes; enables a faster erection on installation site and reduction in production costs. Drawing on the experience adquired during five years in the manufacture of PTSC modules, are identified a series of design requirements that allow to do improvements in the PTSC modules, including increased optical efficiency through the selection of materials with less weight and greater mechanical strength; the application of a new design that avoids structural deformations on the PTSC module and which are optimal to implement a motion system of low power consumption and high precision in angular positioning. By means of a control system and data acquisition based on a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), is possible to manipulate and record variables as temperature and angular position, in order to ensure the conditions of solar radiation incidence on the receiver and record all the variables involved in the system. This data is stored in a database for its posterior analysis. The improvements achieved at this project generate a new method to reduce the logistics times and labor for this type of solar thermal systems as well as manufacturing costs. As a result is obtained a PTSC module with best features strength / weight and stiffness / weight, and other technical advantages.
Montesa, I. E. P., Beniteza, A. M., Chaveza, O. M., & Herrera, A. E. L. (2014). Design and construction of a parabolic trough solar collector for process heat production. In Energy Procedia (Vol. 57, pp. 2149–2158). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2014.10.181