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Proceedings Paper

Transparency-switching optical element for sun tracking applications
Author(s): Harry Apostoleris; Samuele Lilliu; Matteo Chiesa; Marco Stefancich
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Paper Abstract

We present a novel optical element that behaves as a dynamic aperture capable of tracking a moving light source. The element is based on a composite material which when heated undergoes reversible transition from an opaque to transparent state, resulting from a phase transition in one of its components that modifies the microstructure of the material. The material has been designed to undergo a localized transparency transition at the point of illumination by a focused beam, activated by the absorption and conversion to heat of a portion of the incident light. As a result of this mechanism the aperture reactively tracks a moving light spot, such as that created by focusing sunlight onto a surface during the sun’s apparent motion through the sky. Such an element has been proposed as a solution to the sun tracking problem of solar concentration, as it allows admission of sunlight into a concentrating light trap over a wide range of solar angles.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 May 2015
PDF: 3 pages
Proc. SPIE 9516, Integrated Optics: Physics and Simulations II, 951618 (6 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2179947
Show Author Affiliations
Harry Apostoleris, Masdar Institute of Science & Technology (United Arab Emirates)
Samuele Lilliu, Masdar Institute of Science & Technology (United Arab Emirates)
Matteo Chiesa, Masdar Institute of Science & Technology (United Arab Emirates)
Marco Stefancich, Istituto dei Materiali per l'Elettronica ed il Magnetismo, CNR (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9516:
Integrated Optics: Physics and Simulations II
Pavel Cheben; Jiří Čtyroký; Iñigo Molina-Fernández, Editor(s)

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