Abstract

We present a novel idea to construct a solar concentrator with a circular prism array. FRED ray tracing software is used to evaluate our proposed structure in which the incident light rays are deflected by total internal reflection and the optical energy is concentrated and collected at the center. The light rays to be collected travel within the disk once they enter the module, saving the space that is reserved for ray propagation in other concentrators. Simulations for both single-wavelength and broadband light are performed. Our device can be used alone or serve as a secondary concentrator when combined with another solar-energy focusing module. For the proposed concentrator, an optical efficiency of 90% (single wavelength, 0.87μm) is achieved under normal incidence and with antireflection coating, and a high geometric concentration ratio of 93 is reached. When combined with a Fresnel lens, which is used as a primary concentrator, the overall efficiency and concentration ratio can reach 92% (single wavelength, 0.87μm) and 837, respectively.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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