Nanotech 2011

Using liquid crystals to improve the performance of luminescent solar concentrator (invited presentation)

M. Debije
Eindhoven University of Technology, NL

Abstract:

The luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) has been proposed as a cost-effective solution to bring electricity generation from sunlight into the built environment. The basic LSC design consists of a plastic plate containing or topped by a thin layer of fluorescent dyes. The dyes absorb sunlight and re-emit it at a longer wavelength. A fraction of this light is trapped by total internal reflection and becomes concentrated along the edges of the waveguide, where one can place small photovoltaic cells to convert the emitted light into electrical current. With its flexibility in color, shape, and size, it would appear ideally suited for exploitation by the architect for use in façades and other structures in the urban surroundings. However, limitations in performance have hindered widespread adoption of the devices. In this work I present modifications to the standard LSC using liquid crystals to assist in collecting, directing, and controlling both the incoming and emitted light in the device, as well as describing additional features to allow on-demand adjustment of transparency.
 

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