Optical Characterization and Durability Analysis of Solar Reflectors (OPAC)

Participants: CIEMAT-PSA, DLR
Financed by: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through ERDF and PLAN E funds (C.N. SolarNOVA ICT-CEPU 2009-01); German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi); Private companies
Duration: July 2010 – February 2024
One of the key aspects to assure the feasibility of solar concentrating technologies is to achieve suitable solar reflector materials. Proper accelerated ageing tests are needed to predict the durability of solar reflectors under outdoor conditions. Guarantees required for highly efficient components can only be given by applying appropriate standardized testing methods.
This collaborative project between CIEMAT and DLR is devoted to establish appropriate optical qualification and durability test methods of solar reflectors.. Within this general purpose are the following specific goals:

  • Study degradation of different materials and their effect on the performance of concentrating solar systems.
  • Develop experiment related physical equations to model the degradation of certain relevant reflective materials and predict their mid-to-long-term performance.
  • Determine any correlations between accelerated test conditions and exposure of materials to real weather conditions.
  • Study the climate conditions that influence corrosion and material degradation, especially the chemical or abrasive influence of desert dust particles on the materials.
  • Study different anti-soiling coatings and cleaning methods, according to the reflector type and the specific climate conditions.
  • Define procedures and protocols for standardisation of optical characterization and durability testing related to reflectors for concentrating solar systems.
  • Perform tests for companies who so request, whenever deemed appropriate for the development of concentrating solar systems.

Selected publications:

  • García-Segura A, Fernández-García A, Ariza MJ, Sutter F, Valenzuela L. Durability studies of solar reflectors: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 2016, 62:453-467.    
  • Wiesinger F, Sutter F, Fernández-García A, Reinhold J, Pitz-Paal R. Sand erosion on solar reflectors: accelerated simulation and comparison with field data. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 2016, 145:303-313.   
  • Sutter F, Meyen S, Fernández-García A, Heller P. Spectral characterization of specular reflectance of solar mirrors. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 2016, 145:248-254.
  • Sutter F, Fernández-García A, Heller P, Anderson K, Wilson G, Schumücker M, Marvig P. Durability testing of silvered-glass mirrors. Energy Procedia 2015, 69:1568-1577.  
  • Fernández-García A, Cantos-Soto ME, Röger M, Wieckert C, Hutter C, Martínez-Arcos L. Durability of solar reflector materials for secondary concentrators used in CSP systems. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 2014, 130:51-63.