Glass waveguides are fabricated using laser processing techniques that have low optical loss with >90% optical throughput. Advanced light pipes are demonstrated, including angled facets for turning mirrors used for lens-to-light pipe coupling, tapers that increase the concentration, and couplers for combining the outputs from multiple lens array elements. Because they are fabricated from glass, these light pipes can support large optical concentrations and propagate broadband solar over long distances with minimal loss and degradation compared to polymer waveguides. Applications include waveguiding solar concentrators using multi-junction PV cells, solar thermal applications and remoting solar energy, such as for daylighting. Ray trace simulations are used to estimate the surface smoothness required to achieve low loss. Optical measurements for fabricated light pipes are reported for use in waveguiding solar concentrator architectures.
C. K. Madsen, Y. Dogan, M. Morrison, C. Hu, and R. Atkins, "Glass light pipes for solar concentration," Proc. SPIE 10520, Laser-based Micro- and Nanoprocessing XII, 105201A (Presented at SPIE LASE: February 02, 2018; Published: 19 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2291249.
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