SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

Durability Studies of Solar Reflector Materials Exposed to Environmental Stresses


Methods that allow accurate prediction of service lifetimes need to be developed and demonstrated to spur the commercialization of solar reflector materials and systems. Without confident knowledge of service lifetimes, uncertainties in life cycle cost and warranty projections will significantly limit the economic viability of solar concentrators. To assure general and robust usefulness, methods should be based on correlations between accelerated, laboratory-controlled environmental stress factors and actual deployment conditions for a variety of applicable geographical locations. Accelerated experiments have identified the key stress factors of UV radiation, temperature, and relative humidity, and their effect on loss of performance, for a particular class of reflector materials. A model is proposed that allows prediction of the time dependent degradation of such materials as an analytic function of combined applied stresses. The model is shown to provide excellent agreement with measured performance data and provides a strong basis for future comparisons with data collected in field tests.

Author Information

Jorgensen, GJ
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
Kim, H-M
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
Wendelin, TJ
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
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Developed by Committee: G03
Pages: 121–135
DOI: 10.1520/STP16156S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5342-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2407-3