Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Concentrated Solar Photovoltaics (CPV) Mirror Durability Evaluation(ST10461-1)

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. One opportunity that fits ACG’s capabilities is the coating of mirrors for concentrated photovoltaic (PV) solar energy generation (CPV) to produce electricity. In this project, ACG will characterize the durability of first surface mirrors by analyzing the mechanism of the corrosion and ion diffusion with first surface silver mirrors, using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). First surface mirrors have the potential to be about 12% more efficient in light transmission than conventional rear surface mirrors that use a layer of glass to protect the mirror. The study will provide information on the corrosion mechanism that can be used to advance the development of an enhanced coating that will greatly reduce the maintenance cost of solar electric generators.

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Project Description

ACG will collaborate with Alfred University and the University of Buffalo to study the corrosion process, using EIS and accelerated environmental testing, as well as chemical diffusion, using a variety of analytical techniques.


Potential results from this project include that the Contractor could benefit directly from an increase in business to the extent that it can develop its solar PV-related capabilities and production capacity. The Contractor is positioned to be a key global supplier for coated mirrors that will require skilled workers and engineers beyond current levels. The deployment of solar power generation systems in New York State will create additional jobs, and the further development of a solar energy technology and manufacturing cluster in the Rochester region. The deployment of grid-connected solar power in New York would reduce expenditures on imported fuel and emissions associated with power production, while providing some incremental protection against blackouts and 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

Miriam Pye


R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10461-1

Last Updated: 7/30/2014