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Energy Express

Energy Express

  • Editor: Bernard Kippelen
  • Vol. 18, Iss. S1 — Apr. 26, 2010
  • pp: A5–A16

Thermodynamic efficiency of solar concentrators

Narkis Shatz, John Bortz, and Roland Winston  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue S1, pp. A5-A16 (2010)

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The optical thermodynamic efficiency is a comprehensive metric that takes into account all loss mechanisms associated with transferring flux from the source to the target phase space, which may include losses due to inadequate design, non-ideal materials, fabrication errors, and less than maximal concentration. We discuss consequences of Fermat’s principle of geometrical optics and review étendue dilution and optical loss mechanisms associated with nonimaging concentrators. We develop an expression for the optical thermodynamic efficiency which combines the first and second laws of thermodynamics. As such, this metric is a gold standard for evaluating the performance of nonimaging concentrators. We provide examples illustrating the use of this new metric for concentrating photovoltaic systems for solar power applications, and in particular show how skewness mismatch limits the attainable optical thermodynamic efficiency.

© 2010 OSA

OCIS Codes
(000.6850) General : Thermodynamics
(080.0080) Geometric optics : Geometric optics
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(220.2945) Optical design and fabrication : Illumination design
(080.4298) Geometric optics : Nonimaging optics

ToC Category:
Solar Concentrators

Original Manuscript: December 15, 2009
Revised Manuscript: March 13, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: March 13, 2010
Published: April 26, 2010

Virtual Issues
Focus Issue: Solar Concentrators (2010) Optics Express

Narkis Shatz, John Bortz, and Roland Winston, "Thermodynamic efficiency of solar concentrators," Opt. Express 18, A5-A16 (2010)

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