Special Section on High and Low Concentrator Systems for Solar Electric Applications

Design considerations for a concentrator photovoltaic system based on a branched planar waveguide

[+] Author Affiliations
Ichiro Fujieda

Ritsumeikan University, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 1-1-1, Noji-higashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan

Kazuma Arizono

Ritsumeikan University, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 1-1-1, Noji-higashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan

Yuuto Okuda

Ritsumeikan University, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 1-1-1, Noji-higashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan

J. Photon. Energy. 2(1), 021807 (Oct 10, 2012). doi:10.1117/1.JPE.2.021807
History: Received April 30, 2012; Revised September 16, 2012; Accepted September 19, 2012
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Abstract.  A concentrator photovoltaic system can be built by coupling a lens array to a branched planar waveguide, which has one end with a solar cell attached and the other end divided into multiple branches. A right-angle prism is attached to each branch end, redirecting the focused sunlight into the waveguide via total internal reflection so that the light propagates inside the waveguide. With an appropriate design, the light leakage from the waveguide can be made negligible. Our ray-tracing simulations show that the ratio of the optical power exiting the waveguide to an optical power entering the lens-array is close to 87%, with the loss being mostly due to the Fresnel reflections at the lens (8%) and prism surfaces (3%). We can increase geometric concentration by cascading tapered waveguides. The number of cascades should be limited so that the light leakage from the tapered portions remains insignificant. A secondary optical element on each prism would collimate the light, easing this limitation, as well as making the system thinner. The absorption in the waveguide material imposes an inherent limit on the number of cascades and the concentration factor.

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© 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Ichiro Fujieda ; Kazuma Arizono and Yuuto Okuda
"Design considerations for a concentrator photovoltaic system based on a branched planar waveguide", J. Photon. Energy. 2(1), 021807 (Oct 10, 2012). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JPE.2.021807


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