Since Characterization of solar concentrators for CSP plants is a growing demand activity in several facilities, the objective of this work package is to define common protocols to be applied
at the participating research infrastructures for characterization of solar concentrators, as well as the design
and implementation of a test bench for collectors interconnections (ball joints, flexible hoses and hybrid
interconnections). The intended protocols will include not only the testing procedure for overall characterization
of solar concentrators (i.e., determination of their optical and geometrical quality) but also the protocols for
characterization of their key components (e.g., steel structure and interconnections). Although some steps have
been already given in this field within the SFERA I project (i.e., characterization of secondary concentrating
optics and definition of standard guidelines to assess some of the parameters required to evaluate CSP plant
performance) the need to prepare additional protocols has become evident to underpin the efficient and joint use
of the research and test facilities of the participating entities. The intended protocols will enhance the comparison
of test results obtained in different research infrastructures, what will be of great benefit for both external users
and the facility owners. Additionally, the design and implementation of a suitable test bench for collectors’
interconnections will improve the testing capacities available within SOLAB alliance because external users
(manufacturers, engineering companies and plant owners) are demanding such a facility, which does not exist
yet.


Four major tasks are addressed:
Task 1: Characterization of solar concentrators’ geometrical quality
• Definition of protocols for the use of photogrametry and deflectometry techniques in solar concentrators at the
research centers


Task 2: Protocols for characterization of parabolic trough concentrators
• Protocols for evaluation of optical quality, thermal losses, incident angle modifier and angular torsion under
outdoor conditions


Task 3: Protocols for characterization of heliostats
• Protocol for evaluation of optical and geometrical quality


Task 4: Testing infrastructure for collectors’ interconnections
• Design and implementation of a test bench for collectors interconnections (ball-joints, flex hoses and hybrid
devices)