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Proceedings Paper

Thermodynamic efficiency of nonimaging concentrators
Author(s): Narkis Shatz; John Bortz; Roland Winston
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Paper Abstract

The purpose of a nonimaging concentrator is to transfer maximal flux from the phase space of a source to that of a target. A concentrator's performance can be expressed relative to a thermodynamic reference. We discuss consequences of Fermat's principle of geometrical optics. We review étendue dilution and optical loss mechanisms associated with nonimaging concentrators, especially for the photovoltaic (PV) role. We introduce the concept of optical thermodynamic efficiency which is a performance metric combining the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The optical thermodynamic efficiency is a comprehensive metric that takes into account all loss mechanisms associated with transferring flux from the source to the target phase space, which may include losses due to inadequate design, non-ideal materials, fabrication errors, and less than maximal concentration. As such, this metric is a gold standard for evaluating the performance of nonimaging concentrators. Examples are provided to illustrate the use of this new metric. In particular we discuss concentrating PV systems for solar power applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 August 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7423, Nonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration VI, 742308 (20 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.824195
Show Author Affiliations
Narkis Shatz, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
John Bortz, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Roland Winston, Univ. of California, Merced (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7423:
Nonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration VI
Roland Winston; Jeffrey M. Gordon, Editor(s)

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