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Energy Express

Energy Express

  • Editor: Christian Seassal
  • Vol. 22, Iss. S2 — Mar. 10, 2014
  • pp: A248–A258

GRIN planar waveguide concentrator used with a single axis tracker

Sébastien Bouchard and Simon Thibault  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue S2, pp. A248-A258 (2014)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.22.00A248


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Abstract

It is generally accepted that small to medium level concentrators could be used as cost-competitive replacements for tracked solar panels. The objective is to design a system that can reach a good level of sun concentration with only one sun-tracking axis and is cheap to fabricate. As the most critical parameter for all concentrator designs, optical efficiency needed improvement to reduce the cost of power produced by our system. By using a graded-index planar waveguide with an index profile similar to SELFOC fiber, the ray’s path can be controlled. Also, the concentrator can be fabricated in a single block, which reduces Fresnel reflections. Overall, the optical efficiency can be improved by as much as 33% compared to the same system made with a homogeneous waveguide. Furthermore, the ability to cost-effectively fabricate the concentrator by molding can be preserved, making it possible to reduce the cost of the solar power produced.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.5470) Materials : Polymers
(220.1770) Optical design and fabrication : Concentrators
(230.3120) Optical devices : Integrated optics devices
(230.7400) Optical devices : Waveguides, slab
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy

ToC Category:
Waveguide Concentrators

History
Original Manuscript: December 2, 2013
Revised Manuscript: January 10, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: January 13, 2014
Published: January 23, 2014

Virtual Issues
Renewable Energy and the Environment (2014) Optics Express

Citation
Sébastien Bouchard and Simon Thibault, "GRIN planar waveguide concentrator used with a single axis tracker," Opt. Express 22, A248-A258 (2014)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-22-S2-A248


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