Analysis of geometry and optical properties of solar parabolic trough collectors uses a number of specific techniques that have demonstrated to be useful tools in prototype evaluation. These are based on photogrammetry, flux mapping, ray-tracing, and advanced thermal testing. They can be used to assure the collector quality during construction and for acceptance tests of the solar field. The methods have been applied on EuroTrough collectors, cross-checked and compared. This paper summarizes results in collector shape measurement, flux-measurement, ray-tracing, and thermal performance analysis for parabolic troughs. It is shown that the measurement methods and the parameter analysis give consistent results. The interpretation of the results and their annual evaluation give hints on identified relevant improvement potentials for the following generation of solar power plant collectors.

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