Nonimaging optics in luminescent solar concentration

M. D. Markman, R. R. Ranade, N. C. Giebink

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Abstract

Light trapped within luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) is naturally limited in angular extent by the total internal reflection critical angle, βcrit, and hence the principles of nonimaging optics can be leveraged to increase LSC concentration ratio by appropriately reshaping the edges. Here, we use rigorous ray-tracing simulations to explore the potential of this concept for realistic LSCs with compound parabolic concentrator (CPC)-tapered edges and show that, when applied to a single edge, the concentration ratio is increased by 23% while maintaining >90% of the original LSC optical efficiency. Importantly, we find that CPC-tapering all of the edges enables a significantly greater intensity enhancement up to 35% at >90% of the original optical efficiency, effectively enabling two-dimensional concentration through a cooperative, ray-recycling effect in which rays rejected by one CPC are accepted by another. These results open up a significant opportunity to improve LSC performance at virtually no added manufacturing cost by incorporating nonimaging optics into their design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A622-A629
JournalOptics Express
Volume20
Issue number105
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 10 2012

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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