Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flat-pack lens boosts solar power: Fresnel lens concentrates solar without bulk

Date:
February 10, 2014
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Micro-machining could be used to create almost flat, Fresnel lenses, that boost the electrical efficiency of solar panels, according to new research.

Micro-machining could be used to create almost flat, Fresnel lenses, that boost the electrical efficiency of solar panels, according to researchers in China.

Related Articles


Fresnel lenses were invented by French engineer and scientist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, in the early nineteenth century, they are essential two-dimensional equivalents of conventional optical lens, but they have ridges in concentric rings that focus the light to a point behind the lens without the three-dimensional bulk of a conventional lens. Image quality is reduced when using a Fresnel lens to focus because the concentric rings which can be used to significantly reduce the depth of the lens compared to a standard convex lens mean that some light is not focused at the gaps between the ridges. This limits the use of Fresnel lenses in photography and other applications where the user does not wish to lose fine detail.

However, where a detailed image is not needed this quality compromise is acceptable especially if the benefits of reduced bulk outweigh the losses. As such, early applications of Fresnel lenses were in providing a lower-cost way of focusing the light from a lighthouse beacon. More recently Fresnel lenses have found use in inexpensive focused rear-view mirrors that allow drivers to see a wider angle view of the rear of their vehicles. Fresnel lenses have also been used in inexpensive handheld magnifiers to assist the visually impaired and for artificially enlarging a display from a television or other device.

In the area of solar panels, researchers have attempted to use bulky and cumbersome parabolic reflectors to boost efficiency. Now, Y. Cheng, X.D. Zhang and G.X. Zhang of the State Key Laboratory of Precision Measuring Technology & Instruments, at Tianjin University, in China, have developed a technology that allows them to craft the necessary surface structures on a Fresnel lens, an array of microscopic cones, rather than concentric ridges, so that incident light is brought to a point at a more precise depth on the photoactive layer in the panel.

Initial tests with their precision-machined Fresnel solar collector showed that they could obtain a peak power four times that possible with a standard panel at low resistance. The difference in power falls off quickly as the device's resistance rises, which it does as it gets hotter under sunlight and as a byproduct of its generating electricity. Nevertheless, the differential would be enough to boost its electrical output substantially offsetting the additional cost of the Fresnel collector so that the overall cost of solar panels might be reduced. This simple addition to older, less efficient solar panels might also make them viable for places and applications where modern devices of higher intrinsic efficiency are not commercially tenable.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. Cheng, X.D. Zhang, G.X. Zhang. Design and machining of Fresnel solar concentrator surfaces. International Journal of Precision Technology, 2013; 3 (4): 354 DOI: 10.1504/IJPTECH.2013.058257

Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Flat-pack lens boosts solar power: Fresnel lens concentrates solar without bulk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210101945.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2014, February 10). Flat-pack lens boosts solar power: Fresnel lens concentrates solar without bulk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210101945.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Flat-pack lens boosts solar power: Fresnel lens concentrates solar without bulk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210101945.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) — A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

RightThisMinute (Jan. 29, 2015) — If your car has an "Insane Mode" then you know it&apos;s fast. Well, these unsuspecting passengers were in for one insane ride when they hit the button. Tesla cars are awesome. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Bill Gates joins the list of tech moguls scared of super-intelligent machines. He says more people should be concerned, but why? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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