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Proceedings Paper

Monte Carlo ray-tracing simulations of luminescent solar concentrators for building integrated photovoltaics
Author(s): Shin Woei Leow; Carley Corrado; Melissa Osborn; Sue A. Carter
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Paper Abstract

Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) have the ability to receive light from a wide range of angles, concentrating the captured light onto small photo active areas. This enables greater incorporation of LSCs into building designs as windows, skylights and wall claddings in addition to rooftop installations of current solar panels. Using relatively cheap luminescent dyes and acrylic waveguides to effect light concentration onto lesser photovoltaic (PV) cells, there is potential for this technology to approach grid price parity. We employ a panel design in which the front facing PV cells collect both direct and concentrated light ensuring a gain factor greater than one. This also allows for flexibility in determining the placement and percentage coverage of PV cells during the design process to balance reabsorption losses against the power output and level of light concentration desired. To aid in design optimization, a Monte-Carlo ray tracing program was developed to study the transport of photons and loss mechanisms in LSC panels. The program imports measured absorption/emission spectra and transmission coefficients as simulation parameters with interactions of photons in the panel determined by comparing calculated probabilities with random number generators. LSC panels with multiple dyes or layers can also be simulated. Analysis of the results reveals optimal panel dimensions and PV cell layouts for maximum power output for a given dye concentration, absorbtion/emission spectrum and quantum efficiency.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2013
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8821, High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Electric Applications VIII, 882103 (9 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2024676
Show Author Affiliations
Shin Woei Leow, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
Carley Corrado, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
Melissa Osborn, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)
Sue A. Carter, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8821:
High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Electric Applications VIII
Adam P. Plesniak, Editor(s)

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