Optical Evaluation of a Refractive Secondary Concentrator 1999-01-2679
Refractive secondary concentrators are being considered for solar thermal applications because of their ability to achieve maximum efficiency through the use of total internal reflection for the concentration and distribution of solar energy. A prototype refractive secondary concentrator was built based on ray tracing analysis to demonstrate this collection and distribution concept. The design included a conical secondary concentrator and a faceted extractor. The objective of this effort was to functionally evaluate the performance of the refractive secondary concentrator/extractor prototype and to compare the results with modeling. Most of the light was found to exit the refractive secondary concentrator through the extractor. In addition, the degree of attenuation encountered by the light as it passed through the refractive secondary concentrator was of interest. Quantifying optical output and validating the modeling will provide further understanding of the efficiency of the prototype and will provide insight for additional design and materials selection activities.