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Proceedings Paper

Concentrator design to minimize LCOE
Author(s): Mark McDonald; Steve Horne; Gary Conley
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Paper Abstract

The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) takes into account more than just the cost of power output. It encompasses product longevity, performance degradation and the costs associated with delivering energy to the grid tie point. Concentrator optical design is one of the key components to minimizing the LCOE, by affecting conversion efficiency, acceptance angle and the amount of energy concentrated on the receiver. Optical systems for concentrators, even those at high concentrations ( >350X) can be designed by straightforward techniques, and will operate under most circumstances. Adding requirements for generous acceptance angles, non-destructive off-axis operation, safety and high efficiency however, complicate the design. Furthermore, the demands of high volume manufacturing, efficient logistics, minimal field commissioning time and low cost lead to quite complicated, system level design trade-offs. The technology which we will discuss features an array of reflective optics, scaled to be fabricated by techniques used in the automotive industry. The design couples a two-element imaging system to a non-imaging total internal reflection tertiary in a very compact design, with generous tolerance margins. Several optical units are mounted in a housing, which protects the optics and assists with dissipating waste heat. This paper outlines the key elements in the design of SolFocus concentrator optics, and discusses tradeoffs and experience with various design approaches.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 September 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6649, High and Low Concentration for Solar Electric Applications II, 66490B (11 September 2007);
Show Author Affiliations
Mark McDonald, SolFocus (United States)
Steve Horne, SolFocus (United States)
Gary Conley, SolFocus (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6649:
High and Low Concentration for Solar Electric Applications II
Martha Symko-Davies, Editor(s)

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