Silicone Waveguide for Solar Applications With High Concentration

Technology #ua19-041

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Researchers
Kyungjo Kim
Asociate research scientist
Robert Norwood
Professor, Optical Sciences
Sifang Cui
Grad Research Asst, Optical Sciences
Liliana Ruiz Diaz
Graduate student, Optical sciences
Managed By
Amy Phillips
Sr. Licensing Manager (520) 621-9579

Title: Silicone waveguide for solar applications with high concentration

 

Invention: Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed low-cost silicone-based optical light guides configured to concentrate sunlight onto photovoltaic cells with above 90% optical efficiency.  The fabrication is inexpensive, affords flexibility, and ease of assembly. Integration of multiple light guides enjoys relaxed alignment tolerances compared to glass.

 

Background: In solar applications, waveguides and/or lightguides are often used to redirect and spatially concentrate the sunlight onto photovoltaic cell (PV-cells). Glass lightguides can be utilized, but can be expensive and complex to fabricate, expecially when small geometrical features are required.  Assembly of a plurality of glass-based lightguides into a full system is also tedious and complicated.  Polymeric materials can address some of these issues, are well known to have a relatively high level of absorbance in the UV and NIR regions of the solar spectrum, when high transmittance is needed.

 

Applications:

• Solar Applications

 

Advantages:

• Transparent in the 300-1700nm region

• UV resistant

• Design flexibility

• Reduces the cost of manufacturing/mass production

• High transmission throughout the solar spectrum

• Improved tolerance to misalignment while maintaining over 90% optical efficiency

 

Licensing Manager: Amy Phillips

AmyP@tla.arizona.edu

Refer to case number UA19-041