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NREL Solicits Commercial Partner to Assist in Developing Advanced Selective Absorber Coatings for Use in Concentrating Solar Power Systems

January 8, 2008

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is looking for a commercial partner to assist in developing its heat-collection element for parabolic trough systems, with the goal of establishing a commercial product.  Interested parties should contact NREL by January 31, 2008.  More information is available.

An ideal commercial partner who can develop and commercialize this early-stage technology will have a presence in the concentrating solar power (CSP) industry; technical, financial, sales, and marketing resources; and management experience.

To respond to this announcement, submit a 3- to 5-page Letter of Interest to Matthew Ringer, the Point of Contact, at the address listed below.  The letter should contain company and contact information, a description of CSP experience, and a description of experience in early-stage technology development.  Also list previous work that your company has completed for a national laboratory.

Concentrating solar power is a technology that uses the sun to generate electricity on a large scale.  Parabolic trough systems, which reflect the sun’s energy onto a heat-collection element (HCE), are the most widespread method of CSP electricity generation.

A key driver in the overall efficiency of a parabolic trough system is the HCE’s heat absorption and retention, and innovations in the selective coating applied to the HCE can significantly improve heat absorption and retention.  NREL has developed a solar-selective coating that, in preliminary tests, has shown the following:

  • Absorption characteristics comparable to current HCE technology, while re-emitting less energy.
  • Ability to withstand higher operating temperatures than conventional coatings, making it a potentially more robust solution in CSP design.

Ultimately, NREL believes that using this HCE coating in CSP manufacture will lead to solar thermal electricity generation that is more efficient and less expensive.

Point of Contact

Matthew Ringer
Phone: 303-384-7747, Fax: 303-384-6827, E-mail:

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Technology Transfer Office
c/o Matt Ringer, MS-1635
1617 Cole Blvd., Golden, CO 80401-3393 USA

—Don Gwinner