Free-form optics for Fresnel-lens-based photovoltaic concentrators
The Concentrated Photovoltaics (CPV) promise relies upon the use of high-efficiency triple-junction solar cells (with proven efficiencies of over 44%) and upon high-performance optics that allow for high concentration concurrent with relaxed manufacturing tolerances (all key elements for low-cost mass production). Additionally, uniform illumination is highly desirable for efficiency and reliability reasons. All of these features have to be achieved with inexpensive optics containing only a few (in general no more than 2) optical elements. In this paper we show that the degrees of freedom using free-forms allow the introduction of multiple functionalities required for CPV with just 2 optical elements, one of which is a Fresnel lens.