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On-line Journal of the IASS

Vol. 58 (2017) No. 1 March n. 191

Optimised High-Performance Concrete Shells for Parabolic Trough Collectors

< Table of Contents for Vol. 58 (2017) No. 1 March n. 191
  • Journal Name: Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (J. IASS)
  • ISSN: (Electronic Version) 1996-9015
  • ISSN: (Print Version) 1028-365X
  • Issue: Vol. 58 (2017) No. 1 March n. 191
  • Pages: 105-119
  • Title: Optimised High-Performance Concrete Shells for Parabolic Trough Collectors
  • Author(s): C. Kämper, P. Forman, T. Stallmann, M.A. Ahrens, P. Mark and J. Schnell
  • DOI Name: https://doi.org/10.20898/j.iass.2017.191.843
  • Keywords: parabolic trough collector, high-performance concrete, multi-objective optimisation, form follows force, void formers, optical efficiency
The conceptual design of parabolic troughs made from high-performance concrete and having large aperture widths up to 10 m is presented. Thin shell structures are developed, which merge the supporting structure with the reflecting surface directly. Specific actions due to dead load and wind pressure, as well as representative pitch angles from sun tracking, are considered in a multi-level form-finding process. The challenge is to provide sufficient structural stiffness along with highly-accurate large apertures granting high optical efficiencies by multi-objective optimisation. Two potential alternatives are developed to lighten solid shells: tapered cross-sections with additional bracings and void formers of various geometrical shapes. Computational approaches to idealise and simulate such shells as composites consisting of concrete panels, plates and beams are derived and analysed. Finally, all designs are proven with respect to practical feasibility, optical accuracy and efficiency by numerical simulation.

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