New Method to Characterize Degradation of First Surface Aluminum Reflectors: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper reports the development of a new optical instrument capable of characterizing the aging process of enhanced first surface aluminum reflectors for concentrating solar power (CSP) application. Samples were exposed outdoors at different sites and in accelerated exposure tests. All samples exposed outdoors showed localized corrosion spots. Degradation originated from points of damage inthe protective coating, but propagated underneath the protective coating. The degraded samples were analyzed with a microscope and with a newly designed space-resolved specular reflectometer (SR)2 that is capable of optically detecting and characterizing the corrosion spots. The device measures the specular reflectance at three acceptance angles and the wavelengths with spatial resolution usinga digital camera's CMOS sensor. It can be used to measure the corrosion growth rate during outdoor and accelerated exposure tests. These results will allow a correlation between the degraded mirror surface and its specular reflectance.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2010
EventSolarPACES 2010 - Perpignan, France
Duration: 21 Sep 201024 Sep 2010


ConferenceSolarPACES 2010
CityPerpignan, France

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-49164


  • accelerated and outdoor weathering
  • aging of reflectors
  • filiform corrosion of aluminum
  • reflectometer
  • soils
  • specular reflectance


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