Hybrid dome with total internal reflector as a secondary optical element for CPV
Secondary optical elements (SOEs) are used in Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) modules to allow the concentration ratio to exceed those typically achievable by Fresnel lenses, reducing cell costs, without sacrificing tolerance to tracking errors. One option is a “dome” SOE: a simple, single surface refractive optic that images the primary lens onto the cell while immersing it. In this article, we explore the limits of this type of SOE and propose an evolved version, which we dub the Hybrid Dome Reflector (HDR), which offers advantages especially for high concentration modules with large cells, where reflective secondaries do not offer sufficient acceptance angle, but other dielectric secondaries, such as the Dielectric Totally Internally Reflecting Concentrator DTIRC, may be too large for economical manufacture. We discuss aspects of HDR design and share selected ray-tracing simulations and experimental results. We show that the new HDR design improves acceptance angle and tolerances to manufacturing error and lens temperature as compared to a reflective SOE built while offering similar efficiencies.