3M's Renewable Energy Division has teamed with Gossamer Space Frames to unveil a new parabolic-trough solar collector technology that is designed to reduce equipment and installation costs for concentrating solar power (CSP) systems.
The Large Aperture Trough 73 (LAT 73) features a concentration factor of over 100x and an aperture size of 7.3 meters, which are both world benchmarks for the industry, according to the companies.
The system uses 3M Solar Mirror Film 1100 and the mechanical design developments of Gossamer Space Frames. According to the companies, the system reduces the installed cost of a parabolic-trough solar field by more than 25%.
A demonstration system is fully operational and is installed at the Sunray Energy facility in Daggett, Calif. Sunray is owned and operated by Cogentrix Energy LLC.