High-concentration wide-angle tracking integration with stacked lens arrays
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Tracking-integration can reduce or eliminate the need for external solar tracking in CPV (concentrator photovoltaics). Previous research has shown how tracking-integrated systems can achieve high concentration ratios, wide tracking ranges, and compatibility with low-cost high-volume manufacturing methods. However, to our knowledge, no existing concept has demonstrated high performance in all of these objectives at the same time. We show how a numerical optimization-based design method can be used to develop high-performance tracking-integrated configurations. We then present a configuration maintaining an approximately 5000x geometric concentration ratio across a two-axis ±60° tracking range, while also being compatible with low-cost manufacturing processes. By significantly increasing the achievable concentration ratio of low-cost tracking integrated systems, these systems may improve the competitiveness for concentrator photovoltaics. This can also lead to new applications such as high efficiency rooftop-mountable or vehicle-mountable CPV.