Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Solar energy: Cheaper solar concentrator with fewer photovoltaic cells

Date:
April 22, 2010
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
A new solar concentrator design from an electrical engineering Ph.D. student could lead to solar concentrators that are less expensive and require fewer photovoltaic cells than existing solar concentrators.

A new solar concentrator design from an electrical engineering Ph.D. student at the University of California, San Diego could lead to solar concentrators that are less expensive and require fewer photovoltaic cells than existing solar concentrators. The graduate student, Jason Karp and his colleagues at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering presented the new solar concentrator in a paper in the January 2010 issue of the journal Optics Express.
Credit: UC San Diego / Jason Karp

A new solar concentrator design from an electrical engineering Ph.D. student at the University of California, San Diego could lead to solar concentrators that are less expensive and require fewer photovoltaic cells than existing solar concentrators. The graduate student, Jason Karp and his colleagues at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering presented the new solar concentrator in a paper in the January 2010 issue of the journal Optics Express.

While engineers have already developed high-efficiency solar concentrators that incorporate optics to focus the sun hundreds of times and can deliver twice the power of rigid solar panels, the new design offers potential new benefits. Existing solar concentrator systems typically use arrays of individual lenses that focus directly onto independent photovoltaic cells which all need to be aligned and electrically connected. In contrast, the new solar concentrator collects sunlight with thousands of small lenses imprinted on a common sheet. All these lenses couple into a flat "waveguide" which funnels light to a single photovoltaic cell.

Karp built a working prototype with just two primary optical components, thus reducing materials, alignment and assembly. This solar concentrator is compatible with high-volume, low-cost manufacturing.

"The real reason that we are trying to do this type of concentrator is certainly for cost," said Karp in an interview after winning best poster at Research Expo 2010 at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Karp explained that his design minimizes the cost for the optics associated with the entire system. One path to building optics very cheaply leads engineers to existing manufacturing techniques. The new solar concentrator is compatible with existing roll-to-roll processing techniques involved in fabricating large televisions.

Karp designed and built prototypes for the new solar concentrator in the Photonic Systems Integration Laboratory led by electrical engineering professor Joseph Ford from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

On April 15, Karp and his solar concentrator won the 2010 Rudee Research Expo Outstanding Poster Award at the 29th Annual Research Expo at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) provided some of the funding for this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Karp et al. Planar micro-optic solar concentrator. Optics Express, 2010; 18 (2): 1122 DOI: 10.1364/OE.18.001122

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Solar energy: Cheaper solar concentrator with fewer photovoltaic cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422093538.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2010, April 22). Solar energy: Cheaper solar concentrator with fewer photovoltaic cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422093538.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Solar energy: Cheaper solar concentrator with fewer photovoltaic cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422093538.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — U.S. firms worry they’re falling behind in the marketplace as the FAA considers how to regulate commercial drones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Winners of a contest for smart gun design are asking not to be named after others in the industry received threats for marketing similar products. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins