U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

SunShot Initiative

Advanced Polymeric Reflector for CSP Applications

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Lightweight reflector panels developed by Abengoa may outperform glass reflectors and enable innovative collector structure designs.

Abengoa Solar, under the CSP R&D FOA, is developing and scaling up a previously demonstrated advanced solar reflector material for use in CSP applications.

Approach

This reflector material, last produced in 2003 under sponsorship by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is being transitioned from a laboratory scale to limited production runs on a commercial-scale 48-inch wide roll coater. This technology is promising both for its potential lower cost to traditional reflectors, but also because the design flexibility and durability associated with non-glass reflectors may allow entirely new approaches to low-cost concentrator design.

Innovation

There are many benefits to replacing glass with polymeric reflectors, including:

  • Reduced transport difficulty
  • Decreased breakage in the field
  • Increased freedom in design.

Polymeric reflectors are lightweight but strong enough to be part of the support structure. They can be produced in significantly larger sizes than glass and can be used in high curvature or innovative shape configurations. This particular reflector exhibits enhanced reflectivity compared to glass, as well as scrub abrasion resistance. By the end of this project, Abengoa hopes to have a low-cost (<$18/m2), highly reflective (>95%), and durable (30-year) reflective thin film.

Publications, Patents, and Awards

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

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Quarterly Progress Reports

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