The testing, which was conducted in the National Renewable Energy Lab’s (NREL) Ultra-Accelerated Weathering Station (UAWS), is ongoing and is expected to reach 25 years in February 2011. High reflectance and mechanical integrity were recorded for three replicate samples after they had received the equivalent cumulative UV dose of over 20 years of outdoor exposure.
This is a significant milestone in the ongoing testing of ReflecTech® Mirror Film, since 20 years is a widely accepted minimum lifetime requirement for concentrating solar power (CSP) systems.
"There is every indication the film will last for the full lifetime of a CSP plant," said Randy Gee, SkyFuel’s Chief Technology Officer. The film is in use in SkyFuel’s operating SkyTrough® collector loop at Solar Energy Generating Station (SEGS) II in Daggett, California.
The UAWS garnered an R&D 100 Award in 2009 and is the most accelerated method to determine the long-term durability of a material to outdoor exposure. Natural sunlight is concentrated 50X while samples are maintained at 30°C and 60°C to accelerate degradation mechanisms.
SkyFuel, Inc. is a solar thermal power technology and service provider founded in 2007. SkyFuel solar collectors harness solar radiation to produce steam for electricity generation and industrial applications. SkyFuel offers an advanced, glass-free parabolic trough solar thermal collector, called the SkyTrough®. It is the highest performance, lowest-cost utility-scale Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) system in the world.
SkyFuel’s wholly owned subsidiary, ReflecTech, Inc., holds the exclusive license to manufacture and market ReflecTech® Mirror Film. SkyFuel is also developing next-generation, high-temperature parabolic trough and linear Fresnel systems.