In contrast to pricey glass-mirror based parabolic trough technologies, the inflatable HELIOtube is considerably less expensive. This is achieved through the HELIOtube’s highly durable, flexible, lightweight and recyclable plastic material.
The HELIOtube technology is an inflatable cylindrical concentrator made of three plastic films, namely a base film, transparent film and mirror film. The mirror film divides the concentrator into two air-tight chambers running lengthwise through the tube. Small pressure differences between the top and bottom chambers arch the mirror film downward. Thus, a mirror channel is created that concentrates the sun rays onto a thermal receiver in the upper chamber.
How the HELIOtube works
Large homogeneous mirror
The sun light shines through the transparent foil and is reflected by the mirror film. No mirror segments which have any distortions and gaps.
Tracing the sun automatically
Sunlight is focused on receiver tubes.
Heating of Heat Transfer Fluid
HTF running through the receiver tubes is heated by sunlight. The heat can be widely applied for (i) heating processes and (ii) steam generation.