Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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LUMINESCENT SOLAR CONCENTRATORS FROM AQUEOUS FILMS

​ Concentratori solari​ Electric energy​ Energia elettrica​ Fotovoltaico​ Photovoltaics​ Solar concentrators​ Vetrate e pannelli​ Windows and panelsDispersioni acquose filmogeneFilm-forming aqueous dispersions

Introduction

The invention concerns an innovative solar concentrator, an optical system capable of absorbing solar radiation and conveying it on a small surface, a photovoltaic cell (PV), to produce energy.
The design of new Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSC) is of increasing interest, both for their significant environmental impact and for the adaptability of the panels, transparent and colored, which increase the visual comfort of architectural structures.

Technical features

The innovative Luminescent Solar Concentrator (LSC) has been created from film-forming aqueous dispersions of polymer resins containing fluorophores (0.5 – 2% by weight) with high quantum yield. LSCs are flat optical devices containing fluorophores that can absorb light and emit fluorescence concentrated on the edges of the device. The solar radiation, collected on the side surfaces, is therefore more intense, more concentrated and will be converted from photovoltaic cells (PV), located at the edges of the device, into electricity.
Once the aqueous dispersion deposited on a transparent surface (windows, terraces, panels, etc.),  it creates a film of highly emissive polymeric material and with the same index of refraction of glass, capable of concentrating the light radiation on the edges, towards the PV cell and producing electricity. The absence of organic solvents ensures a lower environmental impact, as well as easy use by low-cost deposition techniques, typical of the world of aqueous paints (casting or spraying with airbrush).

Possible Applications

  • Design and architecture;
  • Manufacturing of Nearly Zero Energy Building in urban contexts;
  • Manufacturing of panels, structures and stained glass, highly transparent, at renewable energy;
  • Creation of architectural structures capable of self-sustaining, following absorption of solar energy.

Advantages

  • Maintenance of the glass refractive index;
  • Absence of organic solvents, harmful to the environment;
  • Easy and cheap deposition of fluorescent polymer film;
  • LSC film easily removable from the glass and quickly replaceable in case of photodegradation;
  • High capacity to concentrate UV radiation vs PV cell;
  • Considerable energy savings.