Planar Micro-Optic Solar Concentration
Thursday, July 15 2010A new solar concentrator from Ph.D. student Jason Karp of the University of California, San Diego 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.
In the video below, Karp explains 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.