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Proceedings Paper

Lateral translation micro-tracking of planar micro-optic solar concentrator
Author(s): Justin M. Hallas; Jason H. Karp; Eric J. Tremblay; Joseph E. Ford
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Paper Abstract

High-concentration photo-voltaic systems focus incident sunlight by hundreds of times by combining focusing lenses with accurate, dual-axis solar tracking. Conventional systems mount large optical arrays on expensive tracking pedestals to maintain normal incidence throughout the day. A recently proposed micro-optic solar concentrator utilizes a twodimensional lens array focusing into a planar slab waveguide. Localized mirrors fabricated on the waveguide surface reflect focused sunlight into guided modes which propagate towards an edge-mounted photovoltaic cell. This geometry enables a new method of solar tracking by laterally translating the waveguide with respect to the lens array to capture off-axis illumination. Using short focal length lenses, translations on the order of millimeters can efficiently collect 70° full-angle incident fields. This allows for either one or two-axis tracking systems where the small physical motion is contained within the physical footprint of a fixed solar panel. Here, we experimentally demonstrate lateral micro tracking for off-axis light collection using table-mounted components. We also present a novel tracking frame based on de-centered cams and describe a lens configuration optimized for off-axis coupling.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 August 2010
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7769, High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Electric Applications V, 776904 (24 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.860980
Show Author Affiliations
Justin M. Hallas, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Jason H. Karp, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Eric J. Tremblay, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Joseph E. Ford, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7769:
High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Electric Applications V
Lori E. Greene; Raed A. Sherif, Editor(s)

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