For most parabolic trough CSP plants, the solar field represents 50 percent of the total investment cost. Material which provides the smallest volume and weight, while ensuring sufficient torsional strength, is a key to construction consideration. Aluminum extrusions have a high strength-to-weigth ratio, inexpensive tooling costs, and offer design flexibility which can produce “near net shapes” with little secondary fabrication work required.
Hydro has been involved in most of the high-profile CSP projects in North America over the last five years. We have experience with standard 8-, 12-, and 16-meter, and non-standard size, CSP troughs. And our frame extrusions are produced using primary-grade billet which contains more than 70% recycled content; ideal for the production of “green” products.
- Full project management/logistics support
- Metal sourcing and ability to develop tailored alloys to meet specific requirements
- Accelerated prototyping and optimization of extrusion design for maximum performance
- Full fabrication services; from punching, sawing, and machining to robotic welding and complex bending
- High-quality sub-assembly production or finished component manufacturing
- Procurement of needed parts, kitting of manufactured and sourced components, and JIT delivery
A better frame design
Compared to alternative designs using steel, support structures and frames built using aluminum extrusions typically:
- Require 50% fewer parts
- Are 30% lighter
- Require no on-site welding
- Are constructed in 1/3 the time
A typical 8-meter solar frame made of extruded aluminum installs in less than 6 man-hours with no welding and no adjustments necessary in the field once they are installed. This reduces labor input and eliminates the need for cranes to lift the units into place. Hydro supplies all the parts to a frame in kit form, further speeding the process, and maximizing freight efficiencies. With experience on large commercial-scale solar facilities such as Nevada Solar One, Hydro is well equipped to service any need in the solar industry.