Project Name: Green Parabolic Trough Collector Inspired by an Architectural Paradigm
Funding Opportunity: CSP: COLLECTS
SunShot Subprogram: CSP
Location: Livermore, CA
SunShot Award Amount: $1,740,564
Awardee Cost Share: $435,141

This project seeks to drive down the material and assembly costs of traditional parabolic trough collectors by using a special grade of wood as the structural material. The project also utilizes a different structure for the collector with trusses on the concave side of the parabola, which minimizes the amount of material needed to achieve the required stiffness and reduces the number of assembly fixtures and process steps in construction.


The research team will use an environmentally friendly material for parabolic trough collectors that is able to withstand the outdoors and costs just 15 percent of congenitally-used steel. The project aims to develop the concept by designing, building, and testing an outdoor, full-scale prototype.


This project creates cost effective solar energy collector technology from sustainable materials, greening the technology creation process while also reducing the cost of CSP collectors. The geometric arrangement of the parts that make up the structure will be assembled in a material-efficient typology.