7 October 2014 Two-axes spectral splitting optical concentrator based on single plastic element
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Abstract
High efficiency concentrator photovoltaic systems are currently based on costly III/V cells and, to offset the high cell capital cost, elevated optical concentrations are used, with consequent reduction in acceptance angles and tight tolerance optics. While this allows for spectacular conversion efficiencies, it does not provide cost effectiveness in a market dominated by low efficiency/low cost technologies. An alternative approach, well known in literature, is based on the combined use of an optical concentrator and a spectral splitting element allowing for the use of separate cells with different spectral responses and, thus, opening the way to a much wider range of possible materials and technologies. While many configurations have been presented during the years, optical efficiency has often been an issue due to the separate action of the concentrating and splitting element. We propose here, as substantial evolution of a previous design [1], a single injection molded plastic non-imaging optical element embodying both two axes concentration and spectral splitting functions. Based on the specific dispersion characteristics of polycarbonate and on a constructive analytical design procedure, this element allows for optical efficiencies exceeding 80%. Theory, simulations and preliminary experimental results will be presented.
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M. Stefancich, C. Maragliano, Harry Apostoleris, Matteo Chiesa, "Two-axes spectral splitting optical concentrator based on single plastic element", Proc. SPIE 9175, High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Energy Applications IX, 91750I (7 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2062099; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2062099
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