Researchers at WSU have invented a new conceptual solar concentrator: the light scattering-based solar concentrator (LSSC). This invention is a great enhancement of the photovoltaic (PV) application.
Luminescence solar concentrator (LSC), has been considered a viable option to harvest solar energy with minimal environmental impacts. However, the enthusiasm for applying LSC in PV devices is damped by their efficiency (concentration ratio, C ≤ 1). Primary reason include photon loss from surfaces of the device, and spectroscopic losses of the fluorophores embedded in the devices. There issues are difficult to be addressed with low cost approaches.
This technology circumvent above limitations by introducing LSSCs fabricated by different sized TiO2 nanoparticles to achieve solar spectrum scattering without spectroscopic conversion. General LSSCs have a concentration ratio of 1.13 ~ 1.19, which are comparable to current high-efficiency LSCs. Efficiency of transparent LSSCs exhibited twice more than the current best results reported for transparent LSCs. The implementation of LSSCs could further reduce the cost of PV since TiO2 nanoparticles is much cheaper than luminescent species used in LSCs.
Applications and Advantages
• High efficiency and versatile due to tunable sizes of TiO2 nanoparticles
• Capable of concentrating over 50 % of the solar energy
• Extremely low cost and great enhancement of solar panel