SkyFuel, Inc. and Red Spot Paint and Varnish Co., Inc. announced that SkyFuel’s ReflecTech division has received a 2010 Emerging Technology Award from RadTech International for the companies’ collaborative development of an abrasion resistant hardcoat for ReflecTech Mirror Film. The hardcoat adds a protective shield to the surface of ReflecTech Mirror Film, which is primarily used in utility-scale parabolic trough concentrating solar power (CSP) systems as a high-performance, lower cost alternative to the fragile, curved glass mirrors commonly used in such systems. ReflecTech and Red Spot began developing the hardcoat in mid 2008 as part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
“The RadTech Emerging Technology Committee selects award winners based on promising and novel use of ultra violet or electron beam technology in commercial applications,” said Gary Cohen, executive director of RadTech. “We are pleased to honor ReflecTech for their leadership and exciting breakthrough innovations in concentrated solar energy systems. ReflecTech’s use of UV technology as an enabling process is fast emerging as a key driver in the development of our new energy economy.”
“We greatly appreciate RadTech’s recognition of this important innovation,” said Randy Gee, SkyFuel’s chief technology officer. “The abrasion resistant hardcoat adds one more feature to ReflecTech Mirror Film, while actually boosting its reflectance. And it has been a delight to work with Red Spot and with NREL principal scientist Gary Jorgensen, made doubly rewarding with the success of the research.”
As a leader in the development and production of high performance coatings for plastics, Red Spot’s commitment to research and development and its capability to conduct extensive environmental, abrasion, mechanical and accelerated weathering tests made it an ideal partner for ReflecTech in developing the hardcoat.
“Red Spot has been thrilled to collaborate with ReflecTech and NREL on this technology, and we are especially gratified that ReflecTech has been recognized by RadTech for commercializing UV curable hardcoat technology for the solar market space,” said Patrick Peach, Red Spot’s business manager for Solar Energy Products. “This innovative hardcoat is a key component of Red Spot’s growing solar energy product portfolio.”
ReflecTech Mirror Film with the abrasion-resistant hardcoat will be commercially available later this year and will initially be deployed on the SkyTrough, SkyFuel’s advanced, high-performance, parabolic trough solar thermal collector.