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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 51, Iss. 8 — Mar. 10, 2012
  • pp: 1086–1094

Reactive self-tracking solar concentrators: concept, design, and initial materials characterization

Katherine A. Baker, Jason H. Karp, Eric J. Tremblay, Justin M. Hallas, and Joseph E. Ford  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 51, Issue 8, pp. 1086-1094 (2012)

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Étendue limits angular acceptance of high-concentration photovoltaic systems and imposes precise two-axis mechanical tracking. We show how a planar micro-optic solar concentrator incorporating a waveguide cladding with a nonlinear optical response to sunlight can reduce mechanical tracking requirements. Optical system designs quantify the required response: a large, slow, and localized increase in index of refraction. We describe one candidate materials system: a suspension of high-index particles in a low-index fluid combined with a localized space-charge field to increase particle density and average index. Preliminary experiments demonstrate an index change of aqueous polystyrene nanoparticles in response to a low voltage signal and imply larger responses with optimized nanofluidic materials.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(220.1770) Optical design and fabrication : Concentrators
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(160.4236) Materials : Nanomaterials

ToC Category:
Optical Design and Fabrication

Original Manuscript: September 28, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: November 1, 2011
Published: March 6, 2012

Katherine A. Baker, Jason H. Karp, Eric J. Tremblay, Justin M. Hallas, and Joseph E. Ford, "Reactive self-tracking solar concentrators: concept, design, and initial materials characterization," Appl. Opt. 51, 1086-1094 (2012)

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