From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2017
In designing solar concentrator optics there are many parameters that must be optimized in order to create a useful system, such as compactness, number of elements or interfaces, and acceptance angle, among others. Using geometric optics, tradeoffs between these parameters become inevitable. For example, a lens, trough or dish may be compact but has low tolerance of angular misalignment; angular tolerance can be improved by adding secondary and tertiary optics, but this increases complexity and reduces optical throughput; nonimaging optics such as the CPC offer wide acceptance angles from as single element, but are too long to be practical, in most applications, above low concentrations. These tradeoffs can be avoided by using angle-selective photonic materials to exploit the equivalence between angular restriction and concentration. Recently, broadband angular selectivity in optical films has been demonstrated by the Soljacic group in MIT. In this collaborative work we use this material to experimentally demonstrate two visible-spectrum optical concentrators. We demonstrate that these concentrators are thermodynamically ideal when the material properties are ideal, and describe the material improvements most essential for improving device performance, and discuss how commercial solar concentrator systems could be improved by the use of angular-selective optics
Harry N. Apostoleris, Yichen Shen, Duncan C. Wheeler, Thomas A. Cooper, Matteo Chiesa, and Marin Soljacic, "Broadband angular selectivity in solar concentrators (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10379, Nonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration XIV, 103790A (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 06, 2017; Published: 19 September 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2273620.5581141908001.
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