Sandia National Laboratories has completed thermal performance testing on the Schott parabolic trough receiver using the LS-2 collector on the Sandia rotating platform at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility in Albuquerque, NM. This testing was funded as part of the US DOE Sun-Lab USA-Trough program. The receiver tested was a new Schott receiver, known as Heat Collector Elements (HCEs). Schott is a new manufacturer of trough HCEs. The Schott HCEs are 4m long; therefore, two were joined and mounted on the LS-2 collector module for the test. The Schott HCE design consists of a 70mm diameter high solar absorptance coated stainless steel (SS) tube encapsulated within a 125mm diameter Pyrex® glass tube with vacuum in the annulus formed between the SS and glass tube to minimize convection heat losses. The Schott HCE design is unique in two regards. First, the bellows used to compensate for the difference in thermal expansion between the metal and glass tube are inside the glass envelope rather than outside. Second, the composition of materials at the glass-to-metal seal has very similar thermal expansion coefficients making the joint less prone to breakage from thermal shock. Sandia National Laboratories provided both the azimuth and elevation collector module tracking systems used during the tests. The test results showed the efficiency of the Schott HCE to be very similar to current HCEs being manufactured by Solel. This testing provided performance verification for the use of Schott tubes with Solargenix trough collector assemblies at currently planned trough power plant projects in Arizona and Nevada.

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