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Optics Letters


  • Vol. 36, Iss. 6 — Mar. 15, 2011
  • pp: 900–902

Fundamental bounds for antenna harvesting of sunlight

Heylal Mashaal and Jeffrey M. Gordon  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 36, Issue 6, pp. 900-902 (2011)

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We evaluate fundamental bounds for using aperture antennas to harvest sunlight based on a generalized analysis of the partial coherence of solar radiation.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.1640) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence
(220.1770) Optical design and fabrication : Concentrators
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(220.4298) Optical design and fabrication : Nonimaging optics

ToC Category:
Optical Design and Fabrication

Original Manuscript: November 30, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: January 31, 2011
Published: March 9, 2011

Heylal Mashaal and Jeffrey M. Gordon, "Fundamental bounds for antenna harvesting of sunlight," Opt. Lett. 36, 900-902 (2011)

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  1. R. L. Bailey, J. Eng. Power 94, 73 (1972). [CrossRef]
  2. R. Corkish, M. A. Green, T. Puzzer, and T. Humphrey, in Proceedings of the 3rd World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (2003), Vol.  3, p. 2682.
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  6. Visible evidence that sunlight possesses a transverse coherence length of the order of 102 μm includes the speckle pattern from surfaces with a structure of the order of tens of micrometers, as many matte metallic coins do, as well as the glory observed around one’s shadow when standing in a mist with the sun at one’s back (due to water droplet diameters being of the order of tens of micrometers).
  7. W. L. Stutzman, Antenna Theory and Design (Wiley, 1981).
  8. The term “intensity” is avoided in referring to the EMCF because “intensity” often connotes a measurable nonnegative quantity, whereas the EMCF can be negative.
  9. The terrestrial solar spectrum can vary significantly with atmospheric conditions. We note, however, that when a typical clear-sky midday midlatitude spectrum is used in Eqs. , there is no noticeable change in the results plotted in Figs. .
  10. R. Winston, J. C. Miñano, and P. Benítez, with contributions from N.Shatz and J.Bortz, Nonimaging Optics(Elsevier, 2005).
  11. If the untruncated blackbody spectrum of Eq.  is used, whereby atmospheric attenuation is ignored and λmax→∞, then the solar intercepted power in the large-radius (asymptotic pure-incoherence) limit is larger. However, this is weighted by quite a low coherence efficiency in that regime (see Fig. ), such that the overall error in estimating antenna power harvesting turns out to be of the order of 1%. [Using λmin=0 instead of 0.3 μm introduces a negligible difference, in part due to the λ2 weighting in Eq. .]
  12. J. W. Goodman, Statistical Optics (Wiley, 1985).

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