PPG reports major advances in solar mirror development through DOE contract
PITTSBURGH, June 22, 2010 – PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) has reported major advances in solar mirror development for concentrated solar power (CSP) applications, including improvements in solar mirror reflectance performance of up to 1 percent after heat treatment; production of flat solar mirrors as large as approximately 89 x 126 inches on standard production equipment; and formulation of a lead-free encapsulant that prevents solar mirrors from degrading and losing reflectivity in accelerated testing.
These advancements were detailed in a progress report to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on a three-phase contract to enhance and commercialize large-area mirror technology. The presentation is available on the DOE website at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/pdfs/csp_prm2010_buchanan_ppg.pdf.
PPG said it has developed mirror technology that enables fabricators to purchase large-area “pre-silvered” mirrors, cut them to desired size and subject them to heat treatments such as tempering, bending and heat-strengthening. This is not possible with conventional “wet-silver” mirror technology. PPG’s technology also is more environmentally-responsible than current wet-silver technology because the reflective coating is deposited with a process that generates fewer and more manageable waste streams.
One of the world’s leading glass and performance coatings manufacturers, PPG is uniquely positioned to apply glass and coatings expertise to the development of large-area solar mirrors, a primary component in CSP and concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) applications.
Funding from the DOE contract began in 2008 and is expected to continue through 2011. It is being used to develop solar mirrors that employ ultra-clear, high-transmitting Solarphire(R) low-iron glass by PPG. Solar mirrors are deployed in large fields at utility-scale power plants. They reflect and concentrate sunlight to generate heat and produce the steam that drives turbines, which generate electricity. Replacing traditional fossil fuel-consuming components with CSP systems enables power plants to reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions dramatically.
PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Founded in 1883, the company serves customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG operates in more than 60 countries around the globe. Sales in 2009 were $12.2 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.
Solarphire is a registered trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.
Robert J. Struble
PPG Performance Glazings