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Research Papers

A Novel Lens-Walled Compound Parabolic Concentrator for Photovoltaic Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Yuehong Su

Institute of Sustainable Energy Technology,  Department of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Nottingham, University Park NG7 2RD, United Kingdomyuehong.su@nottingham.ac.uk

Gang Pei

Institute of Sustainable Energy Technology, Department of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Nottingham, University Park NG7 2RD, United Kingdom; Department of Thermal Science and Energy Engineering,  University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China

Saffa B. Riffat

Institute of Sustainable Energy Technology, Department of Architecture and Built Environment,  University of Nottingham, University Park NG7 2RD, United Kingdom

Hulin Huang

Academy of Frontier Science,  Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 29 Yudao Street, Nanjing 210016, China

J. Sol. Energy Eng 134(2), 021010 (Mar 06, 2012) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005757 History: Received April 18, 2011; Revised November 07, 2011; Published March 01, 2012; Online March 06, 2012

A compound parabolic concentrator (CPC) is a nonimaging concentrator that can concentrate solar radiation coming within its acceptance angle. A low concentration CPC photovoltaic system has the advantages of reduced Photovoltaics (PVs) cell size, increased efficiency and stationary operation. The acceptance angle of a CPC is associated with its geometrical concentration ratio, by which the size of PV cell could be reduced. Truncation is a way to increase the actual acceptance angle of a mirror CPC, but it also reduces the geometrical concentration ratio. On the other hand, a solid dielectric CPC can have a much larger acceptance angle, but it has a larger weight. To overcome these drawbacks, this study presents a novel lens-walled CPC that has a thin lens attached to the inside of a common mirror CPC or has the lens to be mirror coated on its outside surface. The shape of the lens is formed by rotating the parabolic curves of a CPC by a small degree internally around the top end points of the curves. The refraction of the lens allows the lens-walled CPC to concentrate light from wider incidence angle. The commercial optical analysis software PHOTOPIA is used to verify the principle of the presented lens-walled CPC and examine its optical performance against the common CPCs. As an example, the simulation is aimed to evaluate whether a lens-walled CPC with a geometrical concentration ratio of 4 has any advantage over a common CPC with a geometrical concentration ratio of 2.5 in terms of actual acceptance angle, optical efficiency and optical concentration ratio.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 2

The presented lens-walled CPC

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Figure 3

Experimental verification of the principle of the lens-walled CPC

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Figure 4

Ray path within the lens-walled CPC

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Figure 5

Optical efficiency versus incidence angle for various types of trough CPC under direct sunlight only

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Figure 6

Optical concentration ratio versus incidence angle for various types of trough CPC under direct sunlight only

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Figure 7

Optical efficiency versus incidence angle for various shapes of the trough lens-walled CPC-4-3 deg under direct sunlight only

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Figure 8

Hourly optical efficiency for various types of trough CPC under a clear sky, Mar. 21, 2010 or Sep. 21, 2010

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Figure 9

Projected solar altitude on the north–south meridian plane for the solstices and equinoxes in Nottingham

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Figure 10

Hourly optical efficiency for various types of trough CPC under a clear sky, Dec. 21, 2010

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Figure 11

Hourly optical efficiency for various types of trough CPC under a clear sky, Jun. 21, 2010

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