Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Review on Parabolic Trough Solar Collectors Systems Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

Abhishek Tiwari, C.S. Koli


Parabolic trough collectors are commonly utilized to recover solar energy with solar energy based on a single cylindrical absorber tube. The conventional design of the absorber tube is characterized by a smooth surface. The heat transfer to fluid from the smooth surface is less as the flow is largely laminar. To augment heat transfer, artificial roughness is incorporated which disrupts the flow and makes it turbulent and thus increases turbulent flow heat transfer rate. Two different types of artificial roughness are commonly utilized for analysis i.e. C shape and V shape. The analysis can be done using Computational Fluid Dynamics in ANSYS CFX software under steady-state conditions. This paper provides a detailed description of parabolic trough collectors for solar energy utilization and their types.  This survey will be useful to show good growth in heat transfer rate with the usage of artificial roughness.

Full Text:



De Oliveira SAM, Gomes PEN, Torrezani L, Lucas EO & Da Cruz Pereira GM (2014). Heat transfer analysis and modeling of a parabolic trough solar collector: an analysis. Energy Procedia, 57, 401-410, DOI:

Sun J,LiuQ & Hong H (2015). Numerical study of parabolic-through direct steam generation loop in recirculation mode: characteristics, performance, and general operation strategy. Energy Conversion and Management, 96, 287-302, DOI:

Kalogirou SA (2012). A detailed thermal model of a parabolic trough collector receiver. Energy, 48(1), 298-306, DOI:

Lu J, Ding J, Yang J, Yang X. (2013). Nonuniform heat transfer model and performance of parabolic trough solar receiver. Energy, 59, 666-675, DOI:

Salgado Conrado L, Rodriguez-Pulido A & Calderón G.(2017). Thermal performance of parabolic trough solar collectors. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 67, 1345-1359. DOI:

Cheng ZD, He YL & Qiu Y. (2015). A detailed non-uniform thermal model of a parabolic trough solar receiver with two halves and two inactive ends. Renewable Energy, 74, 139-147, DOI:

Wu Z, Li S, Yuan G, Lei D & Wang Z. (2014). Three-dimensional numerical study of heat transfer characteristics of parabolic trough receiver. Applied Energy, 113, 902-911,DOI:

Wu Z, Lei D, Yuan G, Shao J, Zhang Y & Wang Z. (2014). Structural reliability analysis of parabolic trough receivers. Applied Energy, 123, 232–241, DOI:

Yilmaz IH & Söylemez MS. (2014). Thermo-mathematical modeling of parabolic trough collector. Energy Conversion and Management, 2014, 88, 768-784, DOI:

Zhang L, Yu Z, Fan L, Wang W, Chen H & Hu Y (2013). An experimental investigation of the heat losses of a U-type solar heat pipe receiver of a parabolic trough collector-based natural circulation steam generation system. Renewable Energy, 57, 262-268, DOI:

Nolte HC, Bello-Ochende T & Meyer JP (2015). Second law analysis and optimization of a parabolic trough receiver tube for direct steam generation. Heat Mass Transfer, 51, 875-887. Available at:

Flasolar. (August 10, 2015). Flat Plate Solar Collectors [Online] Available at: [Accessed on March 2021].

Wikimedia Commons. (August 10, 2015). Flat Plate Glazed Collector [Online].

G. Boyle (2004). Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future, 2nd ed. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 584 Pages.

Wikimedia Commons. (August 10, 2015). Evacuated Tube Collector [Online] Available at: [Accessed on March 2021].

US Department of Energy. (August 10, 2015). Line Focus Solar Collector [Online] Available at: [Accessed on March 20121].

Wikimedia Commons. (August 10, 2015). Line Focus Collector [Online] Available at: [Accessed on March 2021].

JC Solar Homes. (August 10, 2015). Concentrators and Flat Plate Collectors [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on March 2021].

Wikimedia Commons. (August 10, 2015). Solar Stirling Engine [Online] Available at: [Accessed on March 2021].

Jian Jin, Yunyi Ling & Yong Hao (2017). Similarity analysis of parabolic-trough solar collectors. Applied Energy. 204, 958–965, DOI:

AhlemHoucine, Taher Maatallah, Souheil El Alimi & Sassi Ben Nasrallah (2017). Optical modeling and investigation of sun-tracking parabolic trough solar collector basing on Ray Tracing 3Dimensions-4Rays. Stainable Cities and Society. 35, 786-798, DOI:

Victor C. Pigozzo Filho, Alexandre B. de Sá, Júlio C. Passos & Sergio Colle (2014). Experimental and numerical analysis of thermal losses of a parabolic trough solar collector. Energy Procedia. 57, 381-390, DOI:

Ruilin WANG, Wanjun QU, Jie SUN & Hui HONG (2017). An on-site test method for optical efficiency of large-size parabolic trough collectors. Energy Procedia, 105, 486-491. DOI:

C. Tzivanidis, E. Bellos, D. Korres, K.A. Antonopoulos & G. Mitsopoulos (2015). Thermal and optical efficiency investigation of a parabolic trough collector. Case Studies in Thermal Engineering. 6, 226-237, DOI:

EvangelosBellos, Christos Tzivanidis & Dimitrios Tsimpoukis (2017). Multi-criteria evaluation of parabolic trough collector with internally finned absorbers. Applied Energy, 205, 540-561, DOI:

W. Fu, M.C. Yang, Y.Z. Zhu & L. Yang (2015). The wind-structure interaction analysis and optimization of parabolic trough collector. Energy Procedia, 69, 77-83, DOI:

Milad Tajik Jamal-Abad, Seyfollah Saedodin & Mohammad Aminy (2015). Experimental investigation on a solar parabolic trough collector for absorber tube filled with porous media. Renewable Energy, 107, 156-163, DOI:

EvangelosBellos & Christos Tzivanidis (2017). Parametric investigation of nanofluids utilization in parabolic trough Collectors. Thermal Science and Engineering Progress, 2, 71-79, DOI:


  • There are currently no refbacks.