Optimization of the solar concentrator for increasing the acceptance angle in concentrating Photovoltaic(CPV) system

Optimization of the solar concentrator for increasing the acceptance angle in concentrating Photovoltaic(CPV) system
Solar cells; CPV; solar concentrator; ray-tracing; non-imaging optics
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When compared with typical photovoltaic systems, CPV system has some advantages in that the cell efficiency can be substantially increased while the amount of materials usage is reduced, leading to a cost-effective solar cells production. Despite the reduced materials cost in CPV system, the amount of cost reduction for total CPV system, however, is marginal mainly due to the cost of solar tracking system which is inevitable for light concentration. Because the acceptance angle is inversely proportional to the concentration ratio, a very accurate solar tracker is necessary in order to get optimal efficiency of the solar concentrator. Therefore, a proper way of increasing the acceptance angle would render a significant reduction in cost for building the total CPV system. In this study, we report optical simulation results for solar concentrator system composed of Fresnel lens and optical rod, and present ways of enhancing the acceptance angle and optimizing concentrator efficiency. In the current concentrator system, Fresnel lens are designed to focus the incident sun light into the optical rod which plays guiding role for the off-axis sun light with larger incident angle than the acceptance angle. Non-imaging optical method utilizing ray-tracing algorithm was used to simulate the solar concentrator system with varying acceptance angles. Simulation results showed that the off-axis incident light could be efficiently captured by the optical rod, indicating the possibility of increasing the acceptance angle. It was also shown that a substantial reduction of solar cell which is attached to the bottom of the optical rod could be achievable if the shape of the optical rod is properly designed. In this presentation, details of maximizing the acceptance angle via optimization of the anti-refraction of incident surface and the reflection enhancement of side wall as well as designing the shape of the optical rod will be discus
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