Dish Reflectors

REhnu’s large dish reflectors—inexpensive, shaped and back-silvered glass—focus sunlight onto compact receivers.

REhnu’s dish reflectors are made from float glass, the same type manufactured in huge volume for windows. In a process developed at the University of Arizona and licensed by REhnu, a large sheet of glass is first molded into a dish shape, and then back-silvered for high reflectivity.

REhnu’s molding process is unique in that it yields large glass reflectors of a paraboloidal (dish-like) shape, so that when pointed at the sun they bring the light to an intense point focus. Similar reflectors of back-silvered glass, but with cylindrical curvature to bring sunlight to a line focus, are manufactured in very high volume and at low cost to heat steam pipes in large solar thermal plants. Plants of this type have been in operation for decades and have shown that back-silvered glass mirrors are robust and have excellent mechanical and chemical stability. Rehnu’s reflectors will achieve similar longevity in operation. The UA and REhnu are now teamed in a DOE-funded program to develop the patented shaping process for high-speed production of similarly stable but molded, dish-shaped solar mirrors.

REhnu Founder Roger Angel with a single-piece paraboloidal glass reflector