Designing a Parabolic Trough made easy

This tool will help you to design a parabolic trough and give you the information you will need to build a simple one on your own. Download ParabolaTool_v190

Reflector Width

You can enter the width of the reflector here. This is the real/planar width of the mirror.

Supporting Beams

To stabilize the parabolic shape, it is useful to place supporting beams along the curve. The middle is always fixed to x=0 and the outer one to the highest point of the reflector.

Focal Point Height

Parabola Tool calculates the curve by selecting the damping of the parabola.

The height of the focal point is the most important variable you have to select to get good results. The higher this value is, the lower are the shadowing effects.

Keep in mind that this will also increase the vulnerability to inaccuracy. A good starting point should be 30cm-1m for 1m x 2m base frames and 3/4 ” absorbers.

Parabola Width

Parabola width is the shortest distance between both ends of the reflector. You can use this as a starting point for the width of the base frame.

Revision History

ParabolaTool v1.9: Compiled without source code guarding. Exe will start correctly on machines without additional DLLs

ParabolaTool v1.8: Export functions are available now.

ParabolaTool v1.7: Using the ” Print 1:1 ” functionality you are now able to plot the parabola at its real size and to use it as a template for cutting the beams or to cut a solid beam.

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