Multi-element lenslet array for efficient solar collection at extreme angles of incidence

Alsaigh, R. E., Bauer, R. and Lavery, M. P.J. (2020) Multi-element lenslet array for efficient solar collection at extreme angles of incidence. Scientific Reports, 10, 8741. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65437-8) (PMID:32457316) (PMCID:PMC7250910)

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Photovoltaics (PV) are a versatile and compact route to harness solar power. One critical challenge with current PV is preserving the optimal panel orientation angle with respect to the sun for efficient energy conversion. We experimentally demonstrate a bespoke multi-element lenslet array that allows for an increased power collection over a wide field of view by increasing the effective optical interaction length by up to 13 times specifically at large angles of incidence. This design can potentially be retrofitted onto already deployed amorphous silicon solar panels to yield an increased daily power generation by a factor of 1.36 for solar equivalent illumination. We 3D printed an optical proof of concept multi-element lenslet array to confirm an increase in power density for optical rays incident between 40 and 80 degrees. Our design indicates a novel optical approach that could potentially enable increased efficient solar collection in extreme operating conditions such as on the body of planes or the side of buildings.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lavery, Professor Martin and Alsaigh, Rakan Edrees M
Authors: Alsaigh, R. E., Bauer, R., and Lavery, M. P.J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Published Online:26 May 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2020
First Published:First published in Nature Research 10:8741
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173260High Dimensional Free-space Building-to-Building Link for Last-Mile CommunicationsMartin LaveryEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N032853/1ENG - Electronics & Nanoscale Engineering