CSP Optical Facilities at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Research output: NRELPoster


The concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Optical Facilities at NREL comprise unique optical tools and facilities for testing and characterizing concentrating solar optical components. These facilities are maintained to aid researchers and industry efforts to reduce market barriers, improve the performance, reduce the cost, and improve the lifetime and reliability of CSP materials, components, subsystems, and integrated concepts, where accurate and timely characterization methods are needed. To reach this goal, NREL is committed to collaborating in ongoing and projected research needs for industry, academia, and government entities, in the development and characterization of low-cost, high-performance reflector and absorber materials in addition to their components-a key element in the conversion of concentrated sunlight into energy. To accomplish this mission, the core laboratory includes the Advanced Optical Materials Laboratory, indoor and outdoor accelerated weather testing tools, "Distant Observer" for parabolic troughs, the High Flux Solar Furnace, and the ultra-accelerated weather testing tools. This equipment enables to rapidly respond to new challenges with novel solutions that align with the goals of the Solar Energy Technology Office (SETO) at the U.S. Department of Energy. The goal of this paper is to present the state-of art-optical facilities available at NREL that can help support the research needs of the CSP community. Therefore, we review here the different components of the CSP Optical Facilities at NREL and highlight their characteristics and importance for the CSP community.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the 28th SolarPACES Conference, 27-30 September 2022, Albuquerque, New Mexico

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5700-84122


  • accelerated weather testing
  • CSP
  • high flux solar furnace
  • non-intrusive optical tools
  • optical testing
  • UAS


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