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Executive Project Summary

This project is in the area of cost-reduction technology development for solar thermal powerplants. More specifically, this project aimed to demonstrate the viability of low-cost inflatable-support heliostats to enable cost-effective large-scale solar thermal power. The approach taken in the project was to start with some design trade studies; to then design a subscale prototype of a representative inflatable-support heliostat; and to then construct and test this prototype to accomplish the project objectives. All these tasks were successfully accomplished, and this Final Report documents the technical details involved. The resulting prototype heliostat was also displayed to members of government, industry and academia at the “Solar 2002” National Solar Energy Conference in June 2002; and featured in the August 2002 edition of the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. The advanced low-cost heliostat technology which has been validated by this concept validation project, is now ready for further development steps leading to commercialization.

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November 24, 2002

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