CENER upgrades its parabolic trough collector receivers testing laboratory

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A new overheating test bench and a new bellows fatigue test bench as well as a glass samples abrasion system are some of the new equipment in the Parabolic Trough Collector (PTC) Receivers Testing Laboratory of CENER (National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain). With this upgrade, CENER becomes one of the most complete independent testing laboratories for PTC receivers in the market.

By means of this new testing equipment and improvements in existing facilities, CENER’s laboratory can perform the complete test set listed in the new standard draft IEC 62862-3-3. The panoply of tests on PTC receivers that can be performed at CENER includes:

  • Non-Destructive optical characterization by simultaneous spectral measurement of transmittance and reflectance (absorptance) in the range 300 nm to 2500 nm.
  • Spectral measurement of transmittance and reflectance (absorptance) of glass and absorber samples respectively in the range 300 nm to 2500 nm.
  • Thermal characterization of receiver tubes by measuring the heat losses at different temperatures up to 550 ºC.
  • Durability and accelerated ageing tests to complete receivers, including:
    • Hail impact resistance test.
    • Overheating and thermal cycling tests.
    • Bellow fatigue test.
  • Durability and accelerated ageing to glass samples, including:
    • Abrasion test.
    • UV exposure test.
    • Condensation, humidity freeze, damp heat, thermal cycling, salt mist and others.

Besides this laboratory, worldwide reference for testing PTC Receivers, CENER’s Solar Thermal Energy Department has a consolidated benchmark position in the CSP sector due to the variety and complementarity of its services. Regarding testing and characterization services for solar thermal technologies, CENER offers, among others, the following ones:

  • On field characterization of systems and components in CSP plants, including CENER’s ITR service for assessing by IR thermography the operational status and vacuum level of each and every PTC receiver in an operating plant.
  • Accredited testing laboratory for medium and low temperature solar thermal components according to ISO 9806 (solar collectors), EN 12976 (solar systems) and EN 12977 (solar storage).
  • Accredited calibration laboratory for solar radiation sensors according to ISO 9059 (Field Pyrheliometers) and ISO 9847 (Field Pyranometers).
  • Radiation Station Audits with portable radiometric station for in situ verification and validation of measurement stations.