-- This project is inactive --
The University of Arizona and its partners, under the 2012 Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) SunShot R&D funding opportunity announcement (FOA), are developing technology to improve the optical accuracy and reflectivity of the self-supporting glass mirrors used in CSP collector systems.
The research team is working to optimize and validate a novel glass-molding technique that creates very precise mirrors in a variety of shapes. The focus is on developing a novel hot-glass molding process that could be used for high-speed production at low cost, which could also be easily integrated into a production line. In parallel, the research team is developing a novel way to boost second-surface silver reflectivity and inhibit soiling.
The goals of the project are to:
- Develop and prove new methods for rapidly shaping glass mirrors and coating them for higher reflectivity and soil resistance
- Allow for production of mirrors with point-focus as well as the cylindrical shape (line-focus) now widely manufactured for trough CSP
- Improve mirror optical accuracy to increase power per square meter
- Reduce the cost of the solar trough mirrors made in the future in very high volume by about 40%.
If successful, this major advance in the method for shaping float glass could reduce the time needed for the shaping step by this technique by a factor of 100—down to 200 seconds. In this way, the process would be compatible with mass production at high speed and low cost.
Publications, Patents, and Awards
The SunShot CSP R&D program seeks to accelerate progress toward the cost target of $0.06 per kilowatt-hour through novel and revolutionary research into CSP technologies. Learn about other DOE competitive awards for concentrating solar power research that are in progress.