SkyFuel, Inc. was honored with the 2012 Technology Award at the annual SolarPACES conference in Marrakech.

SkyFuel, Inc. was honored with the 2012 Technology Award at the annual SolarPACES conference, held this year in Marrakech. The award was made for the development of ReflecTech®PLUS – a high reflectance, durable, silvered polymer film designed to reduce the lifecycle cost of parabolic trough solar fields.

ReflecTech®PLUS is the first reflective film that has proven to be durable outdoors for more than 30 years and incorporates an abrasion resistant coating. The film was developed by ReflecTech, Inc. in collaboration with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab.

The advantages of ReflecTech®PLUS for the concentrating solar power (CSP) industry are most clearly demonstrated in their application in SkyFuel’s parabolic trough concentrator.

The SkyTrough® was designed from the ground up to capitalize on the features of ReflecTech®PLUS. In contrast to glass-based mirrors, which rely on four or more individually mounted facets to fill the collector’s aperture, SkyTrough’s ReflecTech-based reflectors are monolithic, flexible, and lightweight; and slide quickly into focus on precise parabolic guide rails attached to an aluminum space frame. These advantages not only make the concentrator more optically efficient and robust; they also make it less expensive to manufacture, ship, and install.

SolarPACES Executive Secretary Christoph Richter commented, "SkyFuel’s ReflecTech®PLUS has made a real contribution to the CSP industry by making available a material that improves project economics as well as environmental profile". ReflecTech®PLUS contains no lead, and has cradle-to-grave embodied energy that is four times lower than curved glass mirrors.

"Our abrasion resistant coating has been lab-tested and field-tested with great results," said Randy Gee, SkyFuel’s Chief Technology Officer. "We are honored to receive the SolarPACES Technology Award, and share the honor with our technical collaborators at RedSpot and NREL."