Dish-based high concentration PV system with Köhler optics

Blake M. Coughenour, Thomas Stalcup, Brian Wheelwright, Andrew Geary, Kimberly Hammer, Roger Angel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We present work at the Steward Observatory Solar Lab on a high concentration photovoltaic system in which sunlight focused by a single large paraboloidal mirror powers many small triple-junction cells. The optical system is of the XRX-Köhler type, comprising the primary reflector (X) and a ball lens (R) at the focus that reimages the primary reflector onto an array of small reflectors (X) that apportion the light to the cells. We present a design methodology that provides generous tolerance to mispointing, uniform illumination across individual cells, minimal optical loss and even distribution between cells, for efficient series connection. An operational prototype has been constructed with a 3.3m × 3.3m square primary reflector of 2m focal length powering 36 actively cooled triplejunction cells at 1200x concentration (geometric). The measured end-to-end system conversion efficiency is 28%, including the parasitic loss of the active cooling system. Efficiency ∼32% is projected for the next system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A211-A224
JournalOptics Express
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 10 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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