Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Concentrated Solar Power Absorber Coating (ST10458-1)

Applied Coatings Group, Inc.


Applied Coatings Group, Inc. (ACG) is a global supplier of optical thin film coatings. It began as part of Bausch and Lomb as a key supplier of optical coatings for scientific instruments, sunglasses, and the movie industry. In recent years, its business has been in decline with the increase of cheap labor suppliers and the evolution of plasma and LCD technologies. In response, ACG has been actively seeking new markets and opportunities that will use its coating expertise. Currently, ACG is developing coatings for several alternative energy generation systems, including fuel cells and mirrors for concentrated photovoltaic systems (CPV). In this project ACG is working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), at Alfred University and the University of Buffalo, to develop coatings for solar trough systems that can focus light energy either to produce heat for high temperature applications or to generate electricity. ACG’s focus is on improving the selective coatings. ACG is working with Alfred University to develop materials for use as selective coatings with the potential to both improve solar absorption and ensure long-term durability. This work is key to ACG’s plan to establish a strategic alliance with other U.S.-based companies to supply a domestic source for complete receiver tubes for high temperature solar energy applications.

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Project Description

ACG will collaborate with NREL, Alfred University and the University of Buffalo, to deposit selective coatings on stainless steel receiver tubes with low reflectance at wavelengths less than 2 µm and high reflectance at wavelengths greater than 2 µm. The selective surface will be stable in air and have a solar absorption of at least 0.96 and thermal emittance below 0.07 at 400 degrees C. The partners will also demonstrate feasibility of modifying a selective coating produced by PVD or hybrid deposition process by microwave processing, as well as characterize selective coating for surface roughness, coating solar absorption, thermal emittance, optical reflection, and chemical stability. They will also develop a strategic alliance with a glass tube manufacturer or a metal tube supplier to establish a domestic production capability for solar trough systems.


Potential benefits resulting from this project include that the Contractor could benefit directly from an increase in business, to the extent that it can develop its solar trough systems capabilities and production capacity. As a key global supplier for solar trough systems, the Contractor will require skilled workers and engineers beyond current levels. The deployment of solar trough systems in New York State will create additional jobs. The further development of a solar energy technology and manufacturing cluster in the Rochester region. The deployment of solar trough systems in New York would reduce expenditures on imported fuel and emissions associated with fuel consumption while providing some incremental protection against supply constraints on imported fuels.

Project Results


Applied Coatings Group, Inc.
465 Paul Rd
Rochester, NY 14624

Principle Investigator

Robert Naum

Universities Involved

Alfred University


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Industrial Products

NYSERDA Contact Information

Alison Neligan


EES-Strategic Planning

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10458-1

Last Updated: 8/6/2012 2