Luminescent Solar Concentrator

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 Luminescent solar concentrator

Luminescent solar concentrators are plastics which concentrate sunlight to a particular spot, where the concentrated solar energy can then be converted by a multi-junction PV solar cell.[16] [17][18] This not only increases efficiency, but also decreases cost, as luminescent solar concentrator panels can be made cheaply from plastics, while PV-cells need to be completely constructed from expensive materials as silicium.

Research is being conducted (amongst others) at universities as RU Nijmegen and TU Delft.[19]

Also, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Researchers have found a way to convert windows into devices that concentrate sunlight for conversion into electricity. MIT developed a mixture of dyes that can be painted onto a pane of glass or plastic. The dyes absorb sunlight and then re-emit it within the glass in a different wavelength of light, which then tends to reflect off the interior surfaces of the glass. As the light reflects within the glass pane, it tends to get channeled along the length of the glass to its edges, where it is emitted. The MIT researchers estimate that sunlight is concentrated by a factor of 40, allowing solar cells that are optimized for such concentrated sunlight to be mounted along the edges of the window. The unique optics of the approach yields a cheap solar concentrator that does not need to be pointed toward the sun, as is needed for lens-based concentrators. MIT estimates that the process will be commercialized by Covalent Solar [20] within the next 3 years .[21]

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