SPI2010: 3M launches new solar mirror films

The new films - aimed at the solar thermal electricity and PV sectors respectively - are further evidence of the company leveraging its broad technology portfolio to commercialise innovative products.

3M Solar Mirror Film 1100 is a flexible reflective film designed to provide an alternative for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) and solar thermal installations.

3M said the advancement is the result of extensive materials research, in-field studies and cooperative work with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) dating back to the early 1990’s.

With total hemispherical reflectance in excess of 94%, and specular reflectance above 95% (at 25 milliradian acceptance angle), the film is suitable for a broad range of solar concentrating applications.

According to 3M, on-site testing with NREL has demonstrated the film’s ability to maintain reflectance of more than 93% over 14 years. 3M Solar Mirror Film 1100 also enables greater design flexibility than glass alternatives, allowing for larger geometry reflectors than previously possible.

The company estimates that the lightweight large aperture mirror assemblies have the potential to reduce the total installed cost of CSP systems by over 15%. Also, reflective film based reflectors can be up to 75% lighter than glass mirrors, reducing transport costs and easing installation.

The film combines a tough and durable polymer front-side with silver as the highly reflective layer. It is coated with a pressure-sensitive adhesive on the backside complete with liner. An opaque pre-mask on the front surface protects the film during assembly and eases installation. 3M Solar Mirror Film 1100 is also lead-free, providing a hedge against the environmental challenges associated with the disposal of more traditional technologies.

The organisation also introduced its 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Film for flexible Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS), Cadmium Telluride (CdTe), and Organic Photovoltaic (OPV) solar modules. According to 3M, its Ultra Barrier Solar Film is highly transparent, and provides moisture vapour transmission rates (MVTR) below 5 * 10-4 g/m2/day.

In further news, 3M announced that it would ramp up its manufacturing capacity for its Ultra Barrier Solar Film.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity  •  Solar heating and cooling