24 August 2010 Lateral translation micro-tracking of planar micro-optic solar concentrator
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Abstract
High-concentration photo-voltaic systems focus incident sunlight by hundreds of times by combining focusing lenses with accurate, dual-axis solar tracking. Conventional systems mount large optical arrays on expensive tracking pedestals to maintain normal incidence throughout the day. A recently proposed micro-optic solar concentrator utilizes a twodimensional lens array focusing into a planar slab waveguide. Localized mirrors fabricated on the waveguide surface reflect focused sunlight into guided modes which propagate towards an edge-mounted photovoltaic cell. This geometry enables a new method of solar tracking by laterally translating the waveguide with respect to the lens array to capture off-axis illumination. Using short focal length lenses, translations on the order of millimeters can efficiently collect 70° full-angle incident fields. This allows for either one or two-axis tracking systems where the small physical motion is contained within the physical footprint of a fixed solar panel. Here, we experimentally demonstrate lateral micro tracking for off-axis light collection using table-mounted components. We also present a novel tracking frame based on de-centered cams and describe a lens configuration optimized for off-axis coupling.
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Justin M. Hallas, Jason H. Karp, Eric J. Tremblay, Joseph E. Ford, "Lateral translation micro-tracking of planar micro-optic solar concentrator", Proc. SPIE 7769, High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Electric Applications V, 776904 (24 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.860980; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.860980
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