Description: This paper describes the research and development program at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in advanced reflector materials for solar concentrators. NREL's research thrust is to develop solar reflector materials that maintain high specular reflectance for extended lifetimes under outdoor service conditions and whose cost is significantly lower than existing products. Much of this work has been in collaboration with private-sector companies that have extensive expertise in vacuum-coating and polymer-film technologies. Significant progress and other promising developments will be discussed. These are expected to lead to additional improvements needed to commercialize solar thermal concentration systems and make them economically attractive to the solar manufacturing industry. To explicitly demonstrate the optical durability of candidate reflector materials in real-world service conditions, a network of instrumented outdoor exposure sites has been activated.
Date: October 1, 1994
Creator: Jorgensen, G.; Williams, T. & Wendelin, T.
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