Proc. SPIE. 10086, High-Power Diode Laser Technology XV
KEYWORDS: Photovoltaics, Fluctuations and noise, High power lasers, Solar cells, Reliability, Fiber lasers, Semiconductor lasers, Telecommunications, Laser stabilization, Diodes, Heatsinks, System integration, Laser systems engineering
High power 9xx nm diode lasers along with MH GoPower’s (MHGP’s) flexible line of Photovoltaic Power Converters (PPCs) are spurring high power applications for power over fiber (PoF), including applications for powering remote sensors and sensors monitoring high voltage equipment, powering high voltage IGBT gate drivers, converters used in RF over Fiber (RFoF) systems, and system power applications, including powering UAVs. In PoF, laser power is transmitted over fiber, and is converted to electricity by photovoltaic cells (packaged into Photovoltaic Power Converters, or PPCs) which efficiently convert the laser light. In this research, we design a high power multi-channel PoF system, incorporating a high power 976 nm diode laser, a cabling system with fiber break detection, and a multichannel PPC-module. We then characterizes system features such as its response time to system commands, the PPC module’s electrical output stability, the PPC-module’s thermal response, the fiber break detection system response, and the diode laser optical output stability. The high power PoF system and this research will serve as a scalable model for those interested in researching, developing, or deploying a high power, voltage isolated, and optically driven power source for high reliability utility, communications, defense, and scientific applications.
Continuing improvements in the cost and power of laser diodes have been critical in launching the emerging fields of power over fiber (PoF), and laser power beaming. Laser power is transmitted either over fiber (for PoF), or through free space (power beaming), and is converted to electricity by photovoltaic cells designed to efficiently convert the laser light. MH GoPower’s vertical multi-junction (VMJ) PV cell, designed for high intensity photovoltaic applications, is fueling the emergence of this market, by enabling unparalleled photovoltaic receiver flexibility in voltage, cell size, and power output. Our research examined the use of the VMJ PV cell for laser power transmission applications. We fully characterized the performance of the VMJ PV cell under various laser conditions, including multiple near IR wavelengths and light intensities up to tens of watts per cm2. Results indicated VMJ PV cell efficiency over 40% for 9xx nm wavelengths, at laser power densities near 30 W/cm2. We also investigated the impact of the physical dimensions (length, width, and height) of the VMJ PV cell on its performance, showing similarly high performance across a wide range of cell dimensions. We then evaluated the VMJ PV cell performance within the power over fiber application, examining the cell’s effectiveness in receiver packages that deliver target voltage, intensity, and power levels. By designing and characterizing multiple receivers, we illustrated techniques for packaging the VMJ PV cell for achieving high performance (> 30%), high power (> 185 W), and target voltages for power over fiber applications.