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Appl Opt. 2012 Sep 1;51(25):6117-24. doi: 10.1364/AO.51.006117.

Two-axis solar tracking accomplished through small lateral translations.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0409, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


High-concentration solar-power optics require precise two-axis tracking. The planar micro-optic solar concentrator uses a lenslet array over a planar waveguide with small reflective facets at the focal point of each lenslet to couple incident light into the waveguide. The concentrator can use conventional tracking, tilting the entire assembly, but the system geometry also allows tracking by small lateral translation of the lenslet relative to the waveguide. Here, we experimentally demonstrate such microtracking with the existing concentrator optics and present optimized optical designs for systems with higher efficiency and angle range.

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