skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Advanced Manufacture of Reflectors

The main project objective has been to develop an advanced gravity sag method for molding large glass solar reflectors with either line or point focus, and with long or short focal length. The method involves taking standard sized squares of glass, 1.65 m x 1.65 m, and shaping them by gravity sag into precision steel molds. The method is designed for high volume manufacture when incorporated into a production line with separate pre-heating and cooling. The performance objectives for the self-supporting glass mirrors made by this project include mirror optical accuracy of 2 mrad root mean square (RMS), requiring surface slope errors less than 1 mrad rms, a target not met by current production of solar reflectors. Our objective also included development of new methods for rapidly shaping glass mirrors and coating them for higher reflectivity and soil resistance. Reflectivity of 95% for a glass mirror with anti-soil coating was targeted, compared to the present ~94% with no anti-soil coating. Our mirror cost objective is ~$20/m2 in 2020, a significant reduction compared to the present ~$35/m2 for solar trough mirrors produced for trough solar plants.
  1. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Contributing Orgs:
REhnu, Tucson, AZ (United States); Rioglass Solar, Surprise, AZ (United States); Glasstech, Perrysburg, Ohio (United States); Tucson Electric Power, Tucson, AZ (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY solar energy; solar reflectors