Planar single-element gradient-index solar lenses for concentrator photovoltaics

Panagiotis Kotsidas, Vijay Modi, Jeffrey M. Gordon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We present the design and simulation of first-ever planar single-element solar lenses (modified hemispherical gradientindex structures) for concentrator photovoltaic applications, with high collection efficiency and liberal optical tolerance at averaged cell irradiance levels exceeding 1000 suns. These compact lens designs satisfy the severe constraints of the refractive indices of viable polymeric materials and fabrication techniques, for visible and near-infrared radiation. The planar hemispherical gradient-index lens for a far-field (solar) source is created from a near-field unit magnification spherical gradient-index lens. Our new solutions incorporate a constant-index core (crucial for manufacturability). Simulations include a polychromatic and extended sun. A sample design for an f/1.40 solar lens is provided, where planar lenses comprise a concentrator module's protective glazing, with loss-less packing due to a square lens entry allowed by the modified truncated (non-full aperture) design, without incremental optical losses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNonimaging Optics
Subtitle of host publicationEfficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration IX
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2012
EventNonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration IX - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 12 Aug 201214 Aug 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceNonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration IX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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