Flat ATIR Optics Approach to CPV: December 3, 2009 - December 3, 2010 (Revised)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report

Abstract

An agglomeration of factors has stifled the economic promise of CPV technology. Foremost among these factors are: insufficient optical efficiency, misfit with existing solar infrastructure and production capabilities, and inadequate reliability of the optic-receiver pairing. These difficulties are largely driven by the choice of optics. The CPV industry is constrained in a paradigm of bulkyreflective or refractive optics that operate best at either low concentration (2-5X) or high concentration (100X and above). Low concentration approaches are plagued by marginal economics, while high concentration approaches face heightened technical risks. High concentration systems inevitably face thermal management hurdles and often do not fit well with the existing solar infrastructure.Using Aggregated Total Internal Reflection (ATIR) as the optical mechanism for gathering light, a cost effective, line-focus optic can be produced at scale to provide superior optical efficiency in a flat profile and operate at a mid level of concentration to mitigate the tradeoff between economic benefit and adoptability. Substantiating this motivational premise behind the ATIR optics approachto CPV requires performance data. Foremost among the goals for establishing the viability of ATIR optics in solar is demonstrating optical efficiency. Banyan Energy performed an outdoor test of optical efficiency (OE) based on short circuit current using the line-focus Lens Step prototype.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Banyan Energy, Inc., Berkeley, California; Supercedes June 2011 version.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5200-51859

Keywords

  • ATIR
  • low CPV
  • optics

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