Enhancing the efficiency of solar concentrators by controlled optical aberrations

Giannuzzi, Alessandra (2014) Enhancing the efficiency of solar concentrators by controlled optical aberrations, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Astronomia, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6224.
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The diameters of traditional dish concentrators can reach several tens of meters, the construction of monolithic mirrors being difficult at these scales: cheap flat reflecting facets mounted on a common frame generally reproduce a paraboloidal surface. When a standard imaging mirror is coupled with a PV dense array, problems arise since the solar image focused is intrinsically circular. Moreover, the corresponding irradiance distribution is bell-shaped in contrast with the requirement of having all the cells under the same illumination. Mismatch losses occur when interconnected cells experience different conditions, in particular in series connections. In this PhD Thesis, we aim at solving these issues by a multidisciplinary approach, exploiting optical concepts and applications developed specifically for astronomical use, where the improvement of the image quality is a very important issue. The strategy we propose is to boost the spot uniformity acting uniquely on the primary reflector and avoiding the big mirrors segmentation into numerous smaller elements that need to be accurately mounted and aligned. In the proposed method, the shape of the mirrors is analytically described by the Zernike polynomials and its optimization is numerically obtained to give a non-imaging optics able to produce a quasi-square spot, spatially uniform and with prescribed concentration level. The freeform primary optics leads to a substantial gain in efficiency without secondary optics. Simple electrical schemes for the receiver are also required. The concept has been investigated theoretically modeling an example of CPV dense array application, including the development of non-optical aspects as the design of the detector and of the supporting mechanics. For the method proposed and the specific CPV system described, a patent application has been filed in Italy with the number TO2014A000016. The patent has been developed thanks to the collaboration between the University of Bologna and INAF (National Institute for Astrophysics).

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Giannuzzi, Alessandra
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze matematiche, fisiche ed astronomiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Solar energy technologies, solar concentrators, photovoltaic dense array receivers, deformable optics, prescribed irradiance
Data di discussione
27 Febbraio 2014

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