Progress Toward Achieving a Commercially Viable Solar Reflective Material

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Solar thermal technologies use large mirrors to concentrate sunlight for renewable power generation. The development of advanced reflector materials is important to the viability of electricity production by solar thermal energy systems. The reflector materials must be low in cost and maintain high specular reflectance for extended lifetimes under severe outdoor environments. Production processesassociated with candidate materials must be scalable to mass production techniques. A promising low-cost construction uses a stainless steel foil substrate with a silver reflective layer protected by an optically transparent oxide topcoat. Thick (2 to 4 micron), dense alumina coatings provide durable protective layers. The excellent performance of alumina-coated reflector materials in outdoorand accelerated testing suggests that a larger field trial of the material is warranted. The key to producing a greater quantity of material for field deployment and testing without incurring substantial capital is the use of a chilled drum coater. An existing chamber is being modified, and the deposition rate will be increased prior to the installation of a drum coater to produce 1-ft wide by10-ft long strips of solar reflector material. The production and performance of these materials are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 1998
Event11th International Vacuum Web Coating Conference - Miami, Florida
Duration: 9 Nov 199711 Nov 1997


Conference11th International Vacuum Web Coating Conference
CityMiami, Florida

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-510-24058


  • reflective material
  • renewable energy (RE)
  • solar
  • solar thermal energy systems
  • thermal


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