Researchers at the University of Arizona have designed a silicone-based linear lens array capable of high efficiency and low cost for solar applications.

About

Silicone Aspherical Lens Array for Concentrating Solar Applications

Tech ID: UA19-040

Invention:
Researchers at the University of Arizona have designed a silicone based linear lens array capable of high efficiency and low cost. The lens design produces a higher concentration line than traditional lenses, reduces optical aberrations, and facilitates fabrication. The design also creates greater rigidity, reduces Fresnel reflection loss, and eliminates refractive index changes among elements within a complex lens.

Background:
Current sunlight-concentrating optical elements and/or systems suffer from various deficiencies. For example, mirror-based concentrators require robust and costly mechanical design due to their weight, which increases installation costs. Optical cylindrical lenses made of glass - while arguably being suited for solar applications requiring small linear light-concentration performance - are difficult and costly to manufacture for mass production. Existing polymer lenses have high absorbance in the UV and NIR portions of the solar spectrum, which drastically limits their use in broad-band solar energy concentrators.

Key Benefits

- High transmission efficiency in the solar spectrum
- Low manufacturing, assembly, and usage costs
- Provides for lightweight optics
- Increased rigidity of lens array system
- Allows for deposition of anti-reflection coating
- Provides for optical bonding means between polymer lens and glass without adhesive
- Greater clarity
- Excellent chemical resistance
- Excellent thermos-mechanical stability
- Cost effective fabrication
- Higher transmittance of light
- Reduced photo degradation
- Reduced thermal deformation
- Less maintenance and light weight

Applications

- Solar concentrators

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