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Solar Receive Tube
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Parabolic trough

Solar Receiver Tubes for Thermodynamic Power Plants
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In this system, sunlight is concentrated on to absorber tubes placed in the trough’s focal line, achieving operating temperatures between 350 and 550° C.

The troughs are usually designed to track the Sun along one axis, predominantly north–south. A heat transfer fluid (HTF), such as synthetic thermal oil or a mixture of Molten Salt, runs into the absorber tube and transfers the thermal energy to a conventional steam turbine power cycle, generating electricity. In particular, the fluid is heated to approximately 400° C by the sun’s concentrated rays and then pumped through a series of heat exchangers to produce superheated steam.

The steam is converted in to electrical energy in a conventional steam turbine generator, which can be either part of a conventional steam cycle or integrated into a combined steam and gas turbine cycle.


Parabolic Trough plants, then, consist of 2 parts:

A Solar Field, constituted by reflecting panels that concentrates the solar energy. Receiving tubes convert this energy into high-temperature heat which can be stored for some hours.

A Power Generation Plant where a traditional turbine power generation system produces electricity.

 
         
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