ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--3M’s Renewable Energy Division has teamed with Gossamer Space Frames to
unveil a new parabolic trough solar collector technology designed to
significantly reduce equipment and installation costs for CSP systems
used in power generation. The Large Aperture Trough 73 (LAT 73) features
a concentration factor of over 100x and an aperture size of 7.3 m, both
world benchmarks for the industry.
The system combines the durability, design flexibility, and high
reflectivity of 3M™ Solar Mirror Film 1100 with the mechanical design
innovations of Gossamer Space Frames; the result is a CSP solar
collector system that reduces the installed cost of a parabolic trough
solar field by over 25 percent. The demonstration system is fully
operational and is installed at the Sunray Energy facility in Daggett,
California. Sunray is owned and operated by Cogentrix Energy, LLC
(Cogentrix) and is the longest operating CSP facility in the United
States. An event and ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by Cogentrix, 3M and
Gossamer is planned for May 2, 2012, at the Sunray facility to introduce
the demonstration system.
“The LAT technology is an exciting development for the CSP industry, as
it demonstrates the possibilities in solar concentrating technology,”
said Dr. Dan Chen, business development manager, 3M Renewable Energy
“By combining 3M innovations in materials and Gossamer Space Frames
innovations in structure and alignment, we are leading the industry on a
new cost-reduction trend,” said Glenn Reynolds, President and Co-founder
of Gossamer Space Frames. “Many in the industry thought the re-birth of
CSP was not possible, but we are delighted to prove them wrong. Not only
does this design revitalize CSP, but the entire system comprises
U.S.-manufactured components that, in turn, helps to create U.S. jobs.
We are thrilled to continue leading the way in CSP.”
3M Renewable Energy Division and Gossamer Space Frames, located in
Huntington Beach, Calif., worked together closely on the LAT 73. The
system’s technical and economic viability is enabled by 3M Solar
Mirror Film 1100 reflector panels, which are 50 percent lighter than
glass, and offer 94.5 percent reflectivity (solar weighted total
hemispherical reflectance). The combination of the film’s superior
optical performance and light weight enables the high accuracy, large
aperture collector design. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(NREL) has verified performance of the system, measuring an optical
accuracy of more than 99 percent.
“We are pleased to be the first site for this state-of-the art
technology,” said Sid Frymyer, General Manager of Sunray Energy.
“Innovative developments like this help demonstrate the on-going
advancements that lower the cost of solar energy within the U.S. power
The new system began operating in October 2011 and provides a peak of
approximately 275 kw of electricity to the output of the Sunray
facility, all of which is provided under contract to Southern California
3M and Gossamer Space Frames have received significant interest in the
LAT 73 system from the global CSP industry. A second LAT 73 project is
underway in the Southern U.S., with the project commissioning scheduled
for June 2012.
For more details and downloadable information, visit: www.3m.com/presskits
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Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
and the U.S. Department of Energy for its comprehensive worldwide energy
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3M is a trademark of 3M Company.
Cogentrix is a leading developer, owner and
operator of independent power in North America. Cogentrix was founded in
1983 and has continually been at the forefront of the development and
evolution of the independent power market. Cogentrix has been directly
responsible for the development, engineering, construction and operation
of fossil and renewable power facilities with a combined generating
capability in excess of 5,000 MWs.
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