Available Technology

Weatherable Solar Reflector with High Abrasion Resistance

Global concentrated solar power (CSP) capacity is expected to reach a capacity of 22 GW by 2025, per CSP Today’s 2015-2025 Markets Forecast Report. Despite this growth, however, the contact cleaning methods used for CSP polymer reflectors scratch the surface of these devices and subsequently reduce their specular reflectance. In order to retain the specular reflectance of these devices, methods have been developed to protect these reflectors against abrasion, weathering, and UV light that are designed for reflectors with aluminum mirrors. However, when silver is used as the reflective, metal layer of the device, degradation in the underlying layers of the reflector occurs, bubbles appear in the adhesive, and the specular properties are reduced due to silvers’ susceptibility to corrosion and its spectral window that transmits UV light to the reflectors’ underlying layers. To improve upon these limitations, corrosion inhibitors and UV absorbers have been integrated into adhesives or protective film coatings. However, when implemented by themselves, these inhibitors and absorbers can still adversely affect the functionality of the solar reflector. Due to this, NREL researchers have developed a novel solar reflector that includes features of UV resistance, outdoor weatherability, abrasion resistance, and ease of manufacture.
Abstract: 
Global concentrated solar power (CSP) capacity is expected to reach a capacity of 22 GW by 2025, per CSP Today’s 2015-2025 Markets Forecast Report. Despite this growth, however, the contact cleaning methods used for CSP polymer reflectors scratch the surface of these devices and subsequently reduce their specular reflectance. In order to retain the specular reflectance of these devices, methods have been developed to protect these reflectors against abrasion, weathering, and UV light...
Benefits: 
Abrasion resistant -Protects underlying layers from UV -Long durability in outdoor environment
applications: 
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
NREL ROI 11-34
Lab Representatives
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