Evaluation of the Optical Perfomance of a Prototype Stretched-Membrane Mirror Module for Solar Central Receivers

[+] Author and Article Information
D. J. Alpert, R. M. Houser

Central-Receiver Technology Division, Organization 6226, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N. Mex. 87185-5800

J. Sol. Energy Eng 111(1), 37-43 (Feb 01, 1989) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3268285 History: Received August 01, 1988; Revised October 29, 1988; Online November 11, 2009


The United States Department of Energy’s solar thermal program is testing an innovative concept for the heliostats used in a solar central-receiver power plant: replacing the familiar glass mirrors with stretched-membrance reflectors. Because of their simplicity and lighter weight, heliostats using membrane reflectors have the potential to cost significantly less than glass-mirror heliostats. To assess the optical performance of these new heliostats, a 50m2 prototype mirror module, representative of a commercial scale design, was built and installed for testing at the Central Receiver Test Facility. The results of the testing program are presented, including the optical performance of the stretched-membrane mirror, the performance of the mirror’s focus control system in windy conditions, the performance of the defocus system, and the durability of the reflective film.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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