Exploration of the horizontally staggered light guides for high concentration CPV applications

Selimoglu, Ozgur
Turan, Raşit
The material and processing costs are still the major drawbacks of the c-Si based photovoltaic (PV) technology. The wafer cost comprises up to 35-40% of the total module cost. New approaches and system designs are needed in order to reduce the share of the wafer cost in photovoltaic energy systems. Here we explore the horizontally staggered light guide solar optics for use in Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) applications. This optical system comprises a lens array system coupled to a horizontal light guide which directs the incoming light beam to its edge. We have designed and simulated this system using a commercial ray tracing software (Zemax). The system is more compact, thinner and more robust compared to the conventional CPV systems. Concentration levels as high as 1000x can easily be reached when the system is properly designed. With such a high concentration level, a good acceptance angle of + -1 degree is still be conserved. The analysis of the system reveals that the total optical efficiency of the system could be as high as %94.4 without any antireflection (AR) coating. Optical losses can be reduced by just accommodating a single layer AR coating on the initial lens array leading to a %96.5 optical efficiency. Thermal behavior of high concentration linear concentrator is also discussed and compared with a conventional point focus CPV system. (c) 2012 Optical Society of America