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Proceedings Paper

Simulation of an electrowetting solar concentration cell
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Paper Abstract

Electrowetting control of liquid lenses has emerged as a novel approach for solar tracking and concentration. Recent studies have demonstrated the concept of steering sunlight using thin electrowetting cells without the use of any bulky mechanical equipment. Effective application of this technique may facilitate designing thin and flat solar concentrators. Understanding the behavior of liquid-liquid and liquid-solid interface of the electrowetting cell through trial and error experimental processes is not efficient and is time consuming. In this paper, we present a simulation model to predict the liquid-liquid and liquid-solid interface behavior of electrowetting cell as a function of various parameters such as applied voltage, dielectric constant, cell size etc. We used Comsol Multiphysics simulations incorporating experimental data of different liquids. We have designed both two dimensional and three dimensional simulation models, which predict the shape of the liquid lenses. The model calculates the contact angle using the Young-Lippman equation and uses a moving mesh interface to solve the Navier-stokes equation with Navier slip wall boundary condition. Simulation of the electric field from the electrodes is coupled to the Young-Lippman equation. The model can also be used to determine operational characteristics of other MEMS electrowetting devices such as electrowetting display, optical switches, electronic paper, electrowetting Fresnel lens etc.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 September 2015
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9559, High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Energy Applications X, 95590F (5 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2186904
Show Author Affiliations
Iftekhar Khan, RMIT Univ. (Australia)
Gary Rosengarten, RMIT Univ. (Australia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9559:
High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Energy Applications X
Adam P. Plesniak; Andru J. Prescod, Editor(s)

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