20 August 2009 Thermodynamic efficiency of nonimaging concentrators
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Abstract
The purpose of a nonimaging concentrator is to transfer maximal flux from the phase space of a source to that of a target. A concentrator's performance can be expressed relative to a thermodynamic reference. We discuss consequences of Fermat's principle of geometrical optics. We review étendue dilution and optical loss mechanisms associated with nonimaging concentrators, especially for the photovoltaic (PV) role. We introduce the concept of optical thermodynamic efficiency which is a performance metric combining the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The optical thermodynamic efficiency is a comprehensive metric that takes into account all loss mechanisms associated with transferring flux from the source to the target phase space, which may include losses due to inadequate design, non-ideal materials, fabrication errors, and less than maximal concentration. As such, this metric is a gold standard for evaluating the performance of nonimaging concentrators. Examples are provided to illustrate the use of this new metric. In particular we discuss concentrating PV systems for solar power applications.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Narkis Shatz, Narkis Shatz, John Bortz, John Bortz, Roland Winston, Roland Winston, "Thermodynamic efficiency of nonimaging concentrators", Proc. SPIE 7423, Nonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration VI, 742308 (20 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.824195; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.824195
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