Parabolic Trouogh Optical Characterization at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Solar parabolic trough power plant projects are soon to be implemented in the United States and internationally. In addition to these new projects, parabolic trough power plants totaling approximately 350 MW already exist within the United States and have operated for close to 20 years. As such, the status of the technology exists within several different phases. Theses phases include R&D,manufacturing and installation, and operations and maintenance. One aspect of successful deployment of this technology is achieving and maintaining optical performance. Different optical tools are needed to assist in improving initial designs, provide quality control during manufacture and assembly, and help maintain performance during operation. This paper discusses several such tools developedat SunLab (a joint project of the National Renewable Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories) for these purposes. Preliminary testing results are presented. Finally, plans for further tool development are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2005
Event2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting - Denver, Colorado
Duration: 25 Oct 200428 Oct 2004


Conference2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting
CityDenver, Colorado

Bibliographical note

Presented at the 2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting, 25-28 October 2004, Denver, Colorado. Also included in the proceedings available on CD-ROM (DOE/GO-102005-2067; NREL/CD-520-37140)

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-550-37101


  • line focus optical characterization system (LFOCS)
  • manufacturer
  • mirror module
  • optical performance
  • parabolic trough
  • power plants
  • PV
  • research and development (R&D)
  • video scanning hartmann optical test (VSHOT)


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