Optical concentrator could help solar arrays capture more light, even on a cloudy day, without tracking the sun

Nina Vaidya measuring the experimental performance of optical concentrators under a solar simulator that acts as an artificial sun. Credit: Nina Vaidya

Researchers have imagined, designed, and tested an elegant lens device that can efficiently gather light from all angles and concentrate it at a fixed output position. These graded index optics also have applications in areas such as light management in solid-state lighting, laser couplers, and display technology to improve coupling and resolution.

Even with the impressive and continuous advances in solar technologies, the question remains: How can we efficiently collect energy from sunlight coming from varying angles from …

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