Easier Energy

Our durable and highly reflective mirror film enables more effective collection of solar energy with significant cost reductions.

Solar Mirror Film

An innovative partnership for efficient energy

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 span.

solar collectors

New flexibility

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 significantly reduce equipment and installation costs.

Technical Specifications:

  • Installed costs reduced by over 25%
  • Concentration factor of over 100x
  • An aperture size of 7.3m

Lighter, brighter accuracy

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

Powerful solutions

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.


An easy choice

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