Concentrator Structure

Types of collectors include:

Luz system
EuroTrough
Solargenix

Luz system

The Luz collectors represent the standard by which all other collectors are compared. The industrial nature of these collectors—made from galvanized steel—makes them suitable for commercial power plant applications. And they have proven to be highly reliable. For example, most of the SEGS (solar electric generation system) power plants used Luz system collectors.

There are two types of Luz system collectors: LS-2 and LS-3.

The LS-2 collector features a very accurate design. Its torque-tube structure is simple to erect and provides torsional stiffness. It has six torque-tube collector modules, three on either side of the drive. And each torque tube has two 4-meter-long receivers. Unfortunately, the torque tube uses a lot of steel and requires precise manufacturing to build.

For reducing manufacturing costs, Luz designed the larger LS-3 to lower manufacturing tolerance and require less steel. It proved to be a very reliable design. The LS-3 uses a bridge truss structure in place of the torque-tube. Luz’s LS-3 collector has truss assemblies on either side of the drive. Each LS-3 truss assembly has three, 4-meter-long receivers.

The LS-3 truss design didn’t lower manufacturing costs as much as expected. It also suffered from insufficient torsional stiffness, which led to lower than expected optical and thermal performance.
EuroTrough Collector

Following the demise of Luz, a European consortium—EuroTrough—initiated the development of a new collector design intended to build on the advantages of the LS-2 and the LS-3. The EuroTrough collector utilized a torque-box design to integrate the torsional stiffness of a torque tube and the lower steel content of a truss design.

EuroTrough Collector

Following the demise of Luz, a European consortium—EuroTrough—initiated the development of a new collector design intended to build on the advantages of the LS-2 and the LS-3. The EuroTrough collector utilized a torque-box design to integrate the torsional stiffness of a torque tube and the lower steel content of a truss design. The EuroTrough design was field-tested on the SKAL-ET test loop at SEGS V.

The Solargenix

The Solargenix SGX-1 Concentrator is being used at the Nevada Solar One project. Solargenix Collector Under the U.S. Department of Energy’s USA Trough Initiative, Solargenix Energy developed a new collector structure through a cost-shared, R&D contract with NREL.

The Solargenix collector is made from extruded aluminum. It uses a unique organic hubbing structure, which Gossamer Spaceframes initially developed for buildings and bridges. The new design:

  • Weighs less than steel designs
  • Requires very few fasteners
  • Requires no welding or specialized manufacturing
  • Assembles easily
  • Requires no field alignment.
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