Morgan Solar improves low-profile concentrator design

I’ve written about this Toronto-based solar concentrator company recently, but the Morgan boys have since been busy improving their design and, I must say, it’s pretty cool. Check this MIT Technology Review article on Morgan Solar for an update.

What’s changed, basically, is how the company’s Light-Guide Solar Optic is packaged. The original design had two triangular acrylic optics packaged as a square. Each triangle captured, directed and concentrated light to a single corner where a tiny solar cell was positioned. The new design is a full square that directs light to the centre where it is concentrated in a secondary glass optic. In this secondary optic, concentrated light is bent at a 90-degree angle and hits a small cell bonded to the bottom. The effect is essentially the same, but the new design lowers the quantity of materials, reduces steps in the manufacturing process and, as a result, means lower manufacturing costs. The end result is the lowest-profile solar concentrator I’ve seen that has commercial potential.

4 thoughts on “Morgan Solar improves low-profile concentrator design”

  1. Hi,

    Will this work for Solar Thermal?

    If so will it be an improvement over existing Concentrators?

    Thanks!

    Mitch

  2. My understanding is that one of the main problems with concentrator technologies is that solar cells do not operate well under high temperatures and concentrating the power of the sun tends to heat up the cells and make them less efficient. Does Morgan Solar deal with this issue at all? Is the fiber optic portion restricted to visible as opposed to infrared?

  3. Kup

    The problem of overheating solar cells in concentrator systems doesn’t have to be a problem. A new solar company in Israel turns this into a bonus. Capture the heat!
    Zenith Solar is approaching commercial production of CPV systems that provide electricity and hot water. It makes perfect sense to utilize the heat gathered from cooling the solar cells. They claim a solar conversion efficiency of 75% by this method. That’s impressive if true.

    http://www.zenithsolar.com/index.html

    They also have proprietary injection molded plastic mirror manufacturing process.

    http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/mar2008/gb20080326_485582.htm

    Mitch
    I don’t know the answer to your question but something of interest in solar thermal technology is a patented heat storage system that is even better than molten salt, according to the inventor.

    cheaper and more efficient, and allows solar plants to operate at higher temperatures. Uses alumina pebbles, with CO2 as heat transfer medium. All from existing successfully proven technologies adapted for this use. No R&D required for these technologies. One possible configuration is to use a power tower CSP plant to raise the temperature of the transfer medium from a large solar trough plant. Power tower designs operate at higher temperatures than solar trough systems.

    http://www.trec-uk.org.uk/resources/SolarPatent_ExSumm_12-05-07.doc

  4. If Morgan Solar commercializes this concentrator then they should team up with Cyrium Technologies’ solar cells to make a 40% efficient solar panel!

    Tyler, I’m glad you are writing about these companies as I would never have otherwise heard of them myself.

    -Prasanna from Ottawa

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