U.S. Department of Energy

Next-Generation Low-Cost Reflector

PPG logo Illustration of a rectangle with four layers.

Schematic cross section of a first surface mirror.

PPG, under the Baseload CSP FOA, is producing a durable first-surface mirror with improved optical performance and geometry design to reduce the unit cost of the reflector subcomponent in a concentrating solar power (CSP) application.


PPG Industries is creating an ultra-large, front-surface glass mirror with an inorganic protective hardcoat. This approach is working toward reduced operation and maintenance costs and a lower overall unit cost of the reflector assembly. Moving to a larger-sized glass reflector also reduces manufacturing costs because fewer mirrors are needed. The project aims to achieve an estimated levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of less than $0.08/kWh.


The current LS3-sized mirrors use only 55%–65% of the available capacity of existing glass coating equipment. PPG is pioneering a design that:

  • Represents a size increase of 2.5 times more than current mirrors
  • Uses a first-surface mirror as opposed to a second-surface mirror
  • Adds a proposed alumina hardcoat to eliminate the passage of light through the glass material while also providing durability and anti-soiling properties
  • Achieves a reflectivity of 97%.

Publications, Patents, and Awards

At this time, this project does not have published articles, patents, or awards.

SunShot logo

Learn about other DOE competitive awards for concentrating solar power research that are in progress.