Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
System Refurbishment with Sikasil® AS-785

Project name: Sandia National Laboratories – National Solar Thermal Test Facility
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Power output: 5 MWp
Start of operation: October 2010

System Refurbishment with Sikasil® AS-785

Operated by Sandia National Laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) is the only test facility of this type in the United States. The NSTTF’s primary goal is to provide experimental engineering data for the design, construction, and operation of unique components and systems in proposed solar thermal electrical plants planned for large-scale power generation.

Sikasil® AS-785 2-component structural silicone is used in the refurbishment of Sandia’s system of heliostat mirrors and facet components used to gather concentrated solar power, which has been in service for over 30 years. Each heliostat has 25 facets. The ring and disc are bonded directly to a glass surface with Sikasil®AS-785. The remainder of the flatback surface is glass that was painted white after the disc and ring were bonded to it.

Sika’s Sikasil®AS-785 was chosen following extensive in-house testing and on-site Sika technical assistance at the Sandia facility.Sikasil® AS-785 was chosen specifically for the mirror attached to the supporting center ring of the individual heliostat. Sandia NationalLaboratories was convinced by Sika’s ability to provide a comprehensive technical package and demonstrated “know-how”, which included bond joint and configuration calculations and a full technical report on the application methods and surface pre-treatments required to maintain a structural and durable bond over the next decades. A value-added addition was that Sika also advised the Sandia Labs on the correct type of application equipment needed to dispense and meter mix the adhesive for the process. As no frames are needed with this system, the self-cleaning of the module surfaces are relieved too. Furthermore, a 25%time saving in installation compared to a standard mounting could be demonstrated.

Sika Products used: