EERE's New Projects

Advanced Low-Cost Receivers for Parabolic Troughs

Program Area 
Photovoltaic

Awardee Details

Awardee 
Norwich Technologies
State 
Vermont

Funding

DOE Amount 
$300,000

Norwich Technologies is developing a novel receiver for parabolic trough CSP systems that will dramatically improve performance while substantially reducing acquisition and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. Norwich Technologies' diverse advances in materials and coatings are capable of revolutionizing all aspects of CSP trough receiver design. This receiver offers the prospect for reduced costs, combined with dramatic efficiency improvements. In addition, the technology enables significant operational and cost advances in parabolic trough CSP, which could potentially enable rapid, widespread adoption in new and retrofitted installations.

Objectives 

The goals of this project are to create an advanced trough receiver that:

  • Is less fragile, less expensive, and more efficient than existing receiver tubes
  • Offers better performance at lower cost:  optical efficiency improved by ≥ 5%, thermal losses lowered by 20% (at 400ºC) to 67% (at 650ºC), acquisition costs reduced by ≥ 25%, and O&M costs that are near zero
  • Does not suffer from vacuum-related failure
  • Will maintain ≥ 90% thermal efficiency, even at 650ºC