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Proceedings Paper

Tracking-integrated optics: applications in solar concentration
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Paper Abstract

Conventional concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems track the sun with high precision dual-axis trackers. The emergent field of tracking-integrated optics has the potential to simplify the mechanics of CPV systems by loosening or eliminating the need for dual-axis tracking. In a tracking-integrated scheme, external module tracking is complemented or entirely replaced by miniature tracking within the module. This internal tracking-integration may take the form of active small-motion translation, rotation of arrayed optics, or by passive material property changes induced by the concentrated light. These methods are briefly reviewed. An insolation weighting model is presented which will aid in the design of tracking-integrated optics by quantifying the tradeoff between angular operation range and annual sunlight collection. We demonstrate that when tracking-integrated optics are used to complement external module tracking about a horizontal, North-South oriented axis, truncating the operational range may be advantageous. At Tucson AZ latitude (32.2°N), 15.6% of the angular range may be truncated while only sacrificing 3.6% of the annual insolation. We show that modules tracked about a polar-aligned axis are poorly-suited for truncation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 December 2014
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9293, International Optical Design Conference 2014, 929315 (17 December 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2074602
Show Author Affiliations
Brian M Wheelwright, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Roger Angel, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Steward Observatory (United States)
REhnu Inc. (United States)
Blake Coughenour, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9293:
International Optical Design Conference 2014
Mariana Figueiro; Scott Lerner; Julius Muschaweck; John Rogers, Editor(s)

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