The challenge

A conventional parabolic trough needs a separate support structure for the single-axis curved mirror. Glass has an outstanding load-bearing capacity which is rarely used. How would a structural system look like, that explicitly makes use of the load-bearing properties of glass?

The invention

The RES-Self-supporting Parabolic Trough uses two single-axis curved glass panels which are arranged with their concave side face to face and which are rigidly connected to one another longitudinally to form a self-supporting glass tube. While the first glass panel is exposed to the sunrays and therefore is transparent, the second glass panel is mirrored. The first glass panel carries a receiver coaxially arranged to the focal line of the mirrored panel.

The advantages

  • Use of the load-bearing properties of glass
  • Minimum support structure
  • Significant reduction of wind load by an all-round closed tube
  • The receiver is carried by the transparent panel
  • Protection against environmental impacts and pollution
  • Cold bending of the glass panels on site

The applications

  • Provision of an economic CPVT-system
  • The self-supporting tubes can be arranged vertically as well as horizontally
  • Sun protection system for buildings