A more efficient collector design for parabolic trough power plants was developed by the Skal-ET research project. An 800-meter-long test chain of the new collectors was integrated into a commercial solar power plant in the United States. Efficiency increased by ten percent compared to the previous generation of collectors. The Skal-ET research project was concluded in 2003. The new Skal-ET collector design has been implemented in the Andasol power plants in Spain.

Based on studies a design with less weight and fewer deformations of the collector structure due to dead weight and wind loading has been selected for the Skal-ET parabolic trough collectors. This reduces torsion and bending of the structure during operation and results in increased optical performance and wind resistance. This design also leads to easy manufacturing and minimizes assembly and construction efforts on site. Transportation requirements have been optimized for economic packing and shipping.