Development of a Low Cost Ultra Specular Advanced Polymer Film Solar Reflector
The US Department of Energys SunShot Initiative has set a goal for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies to achieve a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of 5-6/kWhe by 2020. This requires a dramatic reduction in the cost of CSP collector systems. Solar reflectors are an important component of CSP collectors that can substantially decrease LCOE in a number of synergistic ways. The breakthrough goals that will be achieved in the development of the proposed low cost, Ultra-Specular Advanced (USA) mirror film are: 1) solar weighted hemispherical reflectance (SWHR) above 95%, 2) improved reflector specularity, with a beam spread below 1 mrad, 3) a service lifetime of 30+ years, without reflectance loss, even with direct-contact washing, and 4) a cost goal of $5.50/m2. This cost goal is a large departure from the state of the art, and is critical to achieve the overarching CSP SunShot Initiative objective of 5-6/kWhe. These aggressive goals will be achieved by development of a revolutionary polymer-based front surface reflector (FSR). Commercial Applications and Other Benefits If this project continues into Phase II and beyond, a low cost USA polymer film solar reflector will be commercially available to enable the US Department of Energys LCOE goals for CSP to be achieved. Solar manufacturers will be able to incorporate this low cost commercial product into their advanced system designs with confidence in its long term performance properties.
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