Our durable and highly reflective mirror film enables more effective collection of solar energy with significant cost reductions.
Developed by 3M specifically for the solar market, our Solar Mirror Film 1100 provides high reflectivity, as well as industry-leading durability. This polymeric film construction has been undergoing independent testing for over 15 years in outdoor weathering conditions and has lost less than 2% reflectivity over that time span.
This film provided the flexibility that enabled a new design for solar collectors. Working in close partnership with Gossamer Space Frames of California, the result was the world’s largest aperture parabolic trough installation, called LAT 73. A benchmark for solar collectors, the technology still manages to reduce equipment and installation costs significantly.
3M Solar Mirror Film 1100 reflector panels are 50% lighter than the glass ones used by competitors, and also offer 94.5% reflectivity. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has verified performance of the system, measuring an optical accuracy of more than 99%.
“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.”
- Glenn Reynolds
President and Co-founder of Gossamer Space Frames
Overall, our Solar Mirror Film is a perfect illustration of how 3M harnessed some of its existing technologies and innovated them further to create a new market opportunity and help solve a problem in the world.
The new system currently provides a peak of approximately 275kw of electricity to the output of the Sunray facility, all of which is provided under contract to Southern California Edison. With future international applications in the works, the ultimate goal is simple: to remove the barriers of cost and make the choice to use renewable energy an easy one.
“Eventually, this innovative technology will mean that we won’t be in the renewable energy business. We’ll simply be in the energy business.”
- Daniel Chen
Business Development Manager, 3M Renewable Energy Division
3M is uniquely ready to help develop solutions that enhance reliability and improve performance of solar technologies.
From simple single-layered films to complex films tuned to transmit or reflect specific wavelengths.
A growing city needs power. And space is precious.