Reflector Technology Development and System Design for Concentrating Solar Power Technologies

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Alcoa began this program in March of 2008 with the goal of developing and validating an advanced CSP trough design to lower the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) as compared to existing glass based, space-frame trough technology. In addition to showing a pathway to a significant LCOE reduction, Alcoa also desired to create US jobs to support the emerging CSP industry. Alcoa's objective during Phase I: Concept Feasibility was to provide the DOE with a design approach that demonstrates significant overall system cost savings without sacrificing performance. Phase I consisted of two major tasks; reflector surface development and system concept ... continued below

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Schaut, Adam & Smith, Philip December 30, 2011.

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Description

Alcoa began this program in March of 2008 with the goal of developing and validating an advanced CSP trough design to lower the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) as compared to existing glass based, space-frame trough technology. In addition to showing a pathway to a significant LCOE reduction, Alcoa also desired to create US jobs to support the emerging CSP industry. Alcoa's objective during Phase I: Concept Feasibility was to provide the DOE with a design approach that demonstrates significant overall system cost savings without sacrificing performance. Phase I consisted of two major tasks; reflector surface development and system concept development. Two specific reflective surface technologies were investigated, silver metallized lamination, and thin film deposition both applied on an aluminum substrate. Alcoa prepared samples; performed test validation internally; and provided samples to the NREL for full-spectrum reflectivity measurements. The final objective was to report reflectivity at t = 0 and the latest durability results as of the completion of Phase 1. The target criteria for reflectance and durability were as follows: (1) initial (t = 0), hemispherical reflectance >93%, (2) initial spectral reflectance >90% for 25-mrad reading and >87% for 7-mrad reading, and (3) predicted 20 year durability of less than 5% optical performance drop. While the results of the reflective development activities were promising, Alcoa was unable to down-select on a reflective technology that met the target criteria. Given the progress and potential of both silver film and thin film technologies, Alcoa continued reflector surface development activities in Phase II. The Phase I concept development activities began with acquiring baseline CSP system information from both CSP Services and the DOE. This information was used as the basis to develop conceptual designs through ideation sessions. The concepts were evaluated based on estimated cost and high-level structural performance. The target criteria for the concept development was to achieve a solar field cost savings of 25%-50% thereby meeting or exceeding the DOE solar field cost savings target of $350/m2. After evaluating various structural design approaches, Alcoa down-selected to a monocoque, dubbed Wing Box, design that utilizes the reflective surface as a structural, load carrying member. The cost and performance potential of the Wing Box concept was developed via initial finite element analysis (FEA) and cost modeling. The structural members were sized through material utilization modeling when subjected to representative loading conditions including wind loading. Cost modeling was utilized to refine potential manufacturing techniques that could be employed to manufacture the structural members. Alcoa concluded that an aluminum intensive collector design can achieve significant cost savings without sacrificing performance. Based on the cost saving potential of this Concept Feasibility study, Alcoa recommended further validation of this CSP approach through the execution of Phase II: Design and Prototype Development. Alcoa Phase II objective was to provide the DOE with a validated CSP trough design that demonstrates significant overall system cost savings without sacrificing performance. Phase II consisted of three major tasks; Detail System Design, Prototype Build, and System Validation. Additionally, the reflector surface development that began in Phase I was continued in Phase II. After further development work, Alcoa was unable to develop a reflective technology that demonstrated significant performance or cost benefits compared to commercially available CSP reflective products. After considering other commercially available reflective surfaces, Alcoa selected Alano's MIRO-SUN product for use on the full scale prototype. Although MIRO-SUN has a lower specular reflectivity compared to other options, its durability in terms of handling, cleaning, and long-term reflectivity was deemed the most important attribute to successfully validate Alcoa's advanced trough architecture. To validate the performance of the Wing Box trough, a 6 meter aperture by 14 meter long prototype trough was built. For ease of shipping to and assembly at NREL's test facility, the prototype was fabricated in two half modules and joined along the centerline to create the Wing Box trough. The trough components were designed to achieve high precision of the reflective surface while leveraging high volume manufacturing and assembly techniques.

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  • Report No.: DOE/FC/18028-1
  • Grant Number: FC36-08GO18028
  • DOI: 10.2172/1036881 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1036881
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc841766

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  • December 30, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • July 22, 2016, 7:49 p.m.

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Schaut, Adam & Smith, Philip. Reflector Technology Development and System Design for Concentrating Solar Power Technologies, report, December 30, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc841766/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.