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SunBeam™   |   Parabolic trough collector

A versatile solar thermal collector with cost-saving helical space frame structure

The SunBeam is a new utility-scale parabolic trough solar collector developed by our experienced team.  With large 8.2m x 21m (27ftx 68ft) concentrator modules that generate economies of size and simplification throughout the solar field, the SunBeam is well adapted for concentrating solar thermal heating and power generation applications 10MWth and larger with operating temperatures up to ~450°C (842°F).  Its large size is enabled by an efficient steel space frame truss design which is lightweight, rigid, and well-adapted for mass-production.  The SunBeam employs proven utility-grade mirrors, receivers, and tracking systems to maximize performance and reliability.  


Parabolic troughs with high temperature molten salt heat transfer fluid

Molten salt heat transfer fluids represent a disruptive, but challenging, next step forward for parabolic trough technology.  By circulating molten salts inside the parabolic trough receivers, future parabolic trough solar fields can harness the considerable benefits of direct thermal energy storage and working temperatures of up to 565°C (1049°F).  

We are now testing innovative strategies and advanced components designed to reduce the cost and risk of transitioning to molten salt heat transfer fluid in future parabolic trough solar fields.  Success in this transition will establish a new technology pathway for next-generation CSP installations like our Dispatchable Solar Power plant, as well as for other solar thermal applications that directly displace fossil-fired sources of heat.

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This innovative technology was developed and tested under cost-shared funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office and U.S SunShot Initiative.  For more information please contact us.

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