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3M and Gossamer Space Frames unveil large parabolic trough

3M’s Renewable Energy Division and Gossamer Space Frames have launched a parabolic trough solar collector with a concentration factor of over 100x and an aperture size of 7.3 m, said to reduce equipment and installation costs for concentrating solar power (CSP) systems.

By Kari Williamson

The Large Aperture Trough 73 (LAT 73) combines 3M's Solar Mirror Film 1100 with Gossamer's frames. The CSP system could reduce the installed cost of a parabolic trough solar field by over 25%, the two companies say.

A demonstration system is already operational at the Sunray Energy facility in Daggett, California.

“The LAT technology is an exciting development for the CSP industry, as it demonstrates the possibilities in solar concentrating technology,” says Dr Dan Chen, Business Development Manager, 3M Renewable Energy Division.

Glenn Reynolds, President and Co-founder of Gossamer Space Frames, adds: “Many in the industry thought the re-birth of CSP was not possible, but we are delighted to prove them wrong. Not only does this design revitalise CSP, but the entire system comprises US-manufactured components that, in turn, helps to create US jobs.”

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