NREL & Schott Developing New Solar Receiver Tube Coating

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected Schott Solar Inc. as a partner to develop improved absorber coating for concentrating solar power (CSP) receivers.

NREL and Schott signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to collaborate on this project. The new absorptive coating would be applied to the inner steel tube of parabolic trough receivers, which sit at the focal point of parabolic mirrors in utility-scale solar power plants.
NREL originally solicited potential partners through the posting of a Federal Business Opportunity. Schott Solar was selected from the more than ten respondents to the business opportunity notice.
“The nation must include concentrating solar power at a utility scale as part of its portfolio of technologies to meet our clean energy goals,” said NREL director Dan Arvizu. “This partnership with Schott Solar reflects NREL’s mission to accelerate cost-competitive clean energy innovations into the marketplace.”
The project will be partially funded by NREL’s Technology Commercialization and Deployment Fund (TCDF). The Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office created the TCDF program to accelerate the commercialization of laboratory technologies.
The announcement of the collaboration comes on the heels of Schott Solar inaugurating the first manufacturing facility in the United States, which produces receivers for parabolic trough CSP power plants. Schott Solar’s manufacturing facility in Albuquerque, NM recently commissioned its second manufacturing line, less than 3 months after the grand opening in May.

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