An all-glass optical lens may be the key component to achieving higher efficiency and higher energy production concentrating solar power systems.
Silicon Valley-based Solergy, who recently announced plans to install a 100kW all-glass optical lens CSP system in Sicily, Italy, believes glass is the only way to guarantee the durability, reliability and performance of concentrating optics over time.
“One of our initial and fundamental design principles from day one was that if this technology is ever to work reliably, we must have optics in glass. Otherwise it will not be a viable solution over the long term,” Solergy’s CEO and co-founder Yoav Banin said in an interview with Optics.org.
Solar lenses currently used are predominantly acrylic and silicone-on-glass materials. These materials are often prone to hazing, yellowing and cracking.
Solergy also claims that glass lenses are no more expensive that its polymer counterparts. “We have achieved an all-glass, large dimension, highly precise lens, that is fabricated via a proprietary low cost process,” said the company.
The company also boasts 32.9 percent efficiency, and an independent efficiency survey conducted by the National Renewable Energy Lab ranked Solergy’s glass lens efficiency at 29 percent. The lens is designed to optimize optical efficiency and deliver uniform radiation distribution.
Solergy’s CSP system was on display at the EnerSolar exhibition in Milan, Italy earlier this month.