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Proceedings Paper

Thick Optical Films For The Conduction Of Optical And Infrared Radiation
Author(s): C. N. Bain; B. A. Gordon; T. M. Knasel; R. L. Malinowski
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Paper Abstract

Thick optical films can be used to direct, channel and conduct optical and infrared radiation, thus making posible new and novel approaches to system design. In this paper, recent research where thick films have been used to concentrate light energy onto photovoltaic cells is described. Incident light is trapped within a thin flat sheet of transparent material by a diffuse reflective surface at the back of the transparent layer. Light is directed in such a way that total internal reflection takes place. Some of this captured light finds its way to photovoltaic cells attached to the back of the layer. Achievable gain depends on the layer thickness, the index of refraction of the trapping material, and the cell shape and size. Since there is no classical solution to the problem, a Monte-Carlo computer model has been used to analyze this system. The model accounts for the effects of Fresnel reflection at all interfaces, optical absorption of light in the trapping layer, and the reflectivity and departures of the diffuser from a purely Lambertian surface. Results indicate that gains of a factor of two in output power may be obtained for sparsely packed arrays of cells and 1.2 to 1.4 for densely packed arrays. The results of tests of experimental solar arrays agree with these calculations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 December 1981
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0288, Los Alamos Conf on Optics '81, (30 December 1981); doi: 10.1117/12.932019
Show Author Affiliations
C. N. Bain, Science Applications, Inc. (United States)
B. A. Gordon, Science Applications, Inc. (United States)
T. M. Knasel, Science Applications, Inc. (United States)
R. L. Malinowski, Science Applications, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0288:
Los Alamos Conf on Optics '81
Donald H. Liebenberg, Editor(s)

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