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Performance improvements of symmetry-breaking reflector structures in nonimaging devices

United States Patent

January 13, 2004
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A structure and method for providing a broken symmetry reflector structure for a solar concentrator device. The component of the optical direction vector along the symmetry axis is conserved for all rays propagated through a translationally symmetric optical device. This quantity, referred to as the translational skew invariant, is conserved in rotationally symmetric optical systems. Performance limits for translationally symmetric nonimaging optical devices are derived from the distributions of the translational skew invariant for the optical source and for the target to which flux is to be transferred. A numerically optimized non-tracking solar concentrator utilizing symmetry-breaking reflector structures can overcome the performance limits associated with translational symmetry.
Winston; Roland (Chicago, IL)
The University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
10/ 212,010
August 1, 2002
This work was made with support from the US Department of Energy under Grant No. DE-FG0287ER13726.