We present a cost-effective concentrating photovoltaic system composed of a prism and a compound parabolic concentrator (P-CPC). In this approach, the primary collector consists of a prism, a solid compound parabolic concentrator (CPC), and a slab waveguide. The prism, which is placed on the input aperture of CPC, directs the incoming sunlight beam to be parallel with the main axes of parabolic rims of CPC. Then, the sunlight is reflected at the parabolic rims and concentrated at the focal point of these parabolas. A slab waveguide is coupled at the output aperture of the CPC to collect focused sunlight beams and to guide them to the solar cell. The optical system was modeled and simulated with commercial ray tracing software (LightTools™). Simulation results show that the optical efficiency of a P-CPC can achieve up to 89%. when the concentration ratio of the P-CPC is fixed at 50. We also determine an optimal geometric structure of P-CPC based on simulation. Because of the simplicity of the P-CPC structure, a lower-cost mass production process is possible. A simulation based on optimal structure of P-CPC was performed and the results also shown that P-CPC has high angular tolerance for input sunlight. The high tolerance of the input angle of sunlight allows P-CPC solar concentrator utilize a single sun tracking system instead of a highly precise dual suntracking system as cost effective solution.
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