SolarUS, DuPont Tate & Lyle Develop Solar Heat Transfer Fluid

Oct. 16, 2014
So-Blu is designed not to breakdown during extreme heat, but during freezing conditions it also acts as an anti-freeze to protect against bursting pipes and collectors.

DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products has collaborated with SolarUS to launch a new biobased heat transfer fluid that will use Susterra 1,3-propanediol (PDO), a high-performance glycol alternative. The new fluid — to be called So-Blu — will offer solar thermal system owners freeze, corrosion and extreme heat protection resulting in increased system and equipment efficiency and lifespan.

Properties of Susterra 1,3 propanediol. Source: SolarUS website.

The fluid will be officially launched at Solar Power International — Las Vegas, Oct. 20-23 — but is ready for customers and available for sale now.

Sources from DuPont Tate & Lyle say current solar thermal fluids are prone to a host of issues, which include degradation, that results in the formation of viscous deposits in the solar equipment. This in turn causes a decrease in efficiency. So-Blu will offer higher thermal stability and protection against corrosion deposits, giving systems a longer lifespan and higher efficiency throughout the life of the system.

SoBlu acts as an anti-freeze to protect against bursting pipes and collectors.

“This successful collaboration of our teams working together developed a fluid that can meet the demands of the newer higher performance systems in the market,” said Steve Elkin, CEO and founder of SolarUS. “These higher performance fluids are a critical component of solar thermal systems as higher temperatures and more demands are being placed on solar thermal production in applications like manufacturing, heating and air conditioning.”

Susterra 1,3-PDO glycol is certified as completely biobased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making So-Blu an attractive fluid for solar thermal owners seeking renewable content in their products. A peer reviewed life cycle assessment (LCA) of Susterra demonstrates that the production of biobased propanediol offers significant environmental benefits including up to 40 percent less greenhouse gas emissions and 40% less non-renewable energy used in production vs. petroleum-based glycols.

SolarUS is a leader in the manufacturing and distribution of solar collectors and solar thermal products. SolarUS commercial and residential solar thermal systems feature innovative technological advances to efficiently and sustainably provide hot water, heating and dehumidification solutions. SolarUS systems are designed to save system owners money through energy conservation, while reducing the environmental footprint of businesses, institutions and homes.

DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products is a joint venture between DuPont, a global science company, and Tate & Lyle, a world-leading renewable food and industrial ingredients company.  DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products provides natural and renewably sourced ingredients that enhance product performance. For more information on the company’s products, visit