concentrating solar collector

concentrating solar collector

A concentrating solar collector is a solar collector that uses reflective surfaces to concentrate sunlight onto a small area, where it is absorbed and converted to heat or, in the case of solar photovoltaic (PV) devices, into electricity. Concentrators can increase the power flux of sunlight hundreds of times. This class of collector is used for high-temperature applications such as steam production for the generation of electricity and thermal detoxification. Concentrating collectors are best suited to climates that have a high percentage of clear sky days.


The main types of concentrating collectors are:


  • parabolic dish collectors
  • parabolic trough collectors
  • power tower
  • stationary concentrating collector

    A PV concentrating module uses optical elements (Fresnel lenses) to increase the amount of sunlight incident onto a PV cell. Concentrating PV modules/arrays must track the sun and use only the direct sunlight because the diffuse portion can't be focused onto the PV cells.


    Concentrating collectors for home or small business solar water heating applications are usually parabolic troughs that concentrate the sun's energy on an absorber tube (called a receiver), which contains a heat-transfer fluid.