Luminescent solar concentrators : a study of optical properties, re-absorption and device optimisation
Wilson, Lindsay Robert
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This thesis presents the results of work on the optical properties and design optimisation of the luminescent solar concentrator (LSC). The optical properties of a range of uorophores were measured and it was found that the Lumogen F Rot 305 organic dye exhibited properties which make it ideal for use in LSCs, namely a wide absorption range (300-650 nm), 100% quantum yield at concentrations up to 1700 ppm, and the highest photostability of all the Lumogen F dyes, although the overlap of the absorption and emission spectra results in reabsorption (RA) losses. Despite these optimum properties, a detailed analysis showed that LSCs based on Rot 305 cannot compete with conventional glass/glass laminate modules on grounds of either cost or embodied energy. Since Rot 305 represents an optimum dye, this suggests it is unlikely that LSCs based on organic dyes will ever be competitive with conventional technologies. The only solution is the use of a uorophore with greatly reduced RA losses, for example a rare-earth (RE) complex. The RA losses of a europium-containing complex were found to be less than those of the Rot 305 dye, despite the lower quantum yield of the complex (86 %). The solar-to-electric conversion e ciencies of several LSC modules based on Rot 305 were measured. Modules with dimensions of 10 cm x 10 cm and 60 cm x 60 cm had e ciencies of 2.7% and 1.84% respectively, both measured without a back re ector. In addition, the technique of current-matching the edge cells was successfully demonstrated, resulting in a 15% increase in power output from an edge using matched cells relative to an edge using unmatched cells.