Skip to Content

Solar Cost ­Cutter

April 20, 2010

A highly reflective thin film made of microlayers of silver and copper, protected by a polymer and backed with adhesive, could cut the cost of solar thermal power plants by hundreds of millions of dollars. In most such plants, glass mirrors concentrate heat from the sun to create steam that spins conventional turbines. The thin film–which replaces those mirrors–reflects more light, increasing power output.

Product: 3M Solar Mirror Film
Cost: $20 per square meter
Availability: Spring 2010
Source: www.3m.com
Companies: 3M

Keep Reading

Most Popular

still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned
conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.

protein structures
protein structures

DeepMind says it will release the structure of every protein known to science

The company has already used its protein-folding AI, AlphaFold, to generate structures for the human proteome, as well as yeast, fruit flies, mice, and more.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.