Proof of principle demonstration of a self-tracking concentrator

We present to the best of our knowledge the first successful demonstration of a planar, self-tracking solar concentrator system capable of a 2-dimensional angular acceptance of over 40 degrees. The light responsive mechanism allows for efficient waveguide coupling and light concentration independently of the angle of incidence within the angular range. A coupling feature is created at the focal spot of the optical system by locally melting a phase change material which acts as an actuator due to the large thermal expansion. A dichroic prism membrane reflects the visible light so that it is efficiently coupled into a waveguide at the point of the created coupling feature. We show simulation results for concentration and efficiency, validated by an experimental proof of concept demonstration of a self-tracking concentrator array element. Simulations show that a system based on this approach can achieve 150X effective concentration by scaling the system collecting area to reasonable dimensions (40 x 10 cm(2)). (c) 2014 Optical Society of America

Published in:
Optics Express, 22, 5, A498-A510
Washington, Optical Society of America

 Record created 2014-05-19, last modified 2018-01-28

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