Solar power capture using polymeric optical fibres

Munisami, Kevin Jagadissen, Kalymnios, Demetri, Virdee, Bal Singh and Ioannides, Nicholas (2017) Solar power capture using polymeric optical fibres. In: UPEC 2017, 28-31 August 2017, Crete, Greece.


The design and performance of a novel low cost technique for solar power capture is presented. Applications for such a system include daylighting, solar power delivery and in electricity generation systems using algae, amongst others. The proposed model uses Polymeric / Plastic Optical Fibres (POF) not only as the light transport medium but also as the light collecting mechanism. The light collecting arrangement is based on the Reciprocity Principle and consists of the curved surface of a POF that is structurally modified so that solar light can be directed into the fibre by using an analogous process to fibre side emission but in the reverse. Several arrangements have been investigated. Computer modeling confirms the achievability of an acceptance cone of at least ±50o. Empirical results show a 53% increase in efficiency with 3mm POF compared to 2mm ones. A major advantage of this technique is the elimination of one of the two axes (orbital) of solar tracking and the considerable decrease in importance of the second axis (seasonal), currently a necessity in solar scanning systems.

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