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FOCUS Progress Update - Cogenra Solar's Hybrid Solar Converter with Light-Filtering Mirror

A modular hybrid PVT/CSP collector design was developed in a CAD framework with part and assembly details enabling structural support of optical, photovoltaic, and thermal elements.  The relative positioning of optical elements was derived from an analysis of the design trade space with respect to efficiency (via raytracing), cost, and availability of components.  The assembly was further disaggregated into a BOM for preliminary cost modeling of the system.  The design includes the advantage of leveraging existing supply chains for the CSP industry and potential compatibility with existing CSP installed capacity as an output-boosting upgrade. 

A dichroic filter was developed to the specifications of the project and manufactured. The accuracy and tunability of the UV and IR band edges was established, and angle of incidence (AOI) effects were measured and quantified for transmission and reflection.  The shift in band edge towards lower wavelengths with increased AOI was characterized and the effects were incorporated into the system model.

Optimization analysis of design configurations has been greatly facilitated by the development of a multi-scale physics-based simulation of energy flows through a generalized system model of the Double FOCUS architecture.  Parametric sweeps of design and operating parameters established performance maps and provided a deeper level of insight into the fundamental nature of the spectrum splitting proposition.  Tradeoffs between exergy efficiency and receiver operating temperatures, exergy efficiency and thermal fraction, and exergy efficiency as a function of band gap and filter band edge were explored.  A detailed energy balance between exergy and losses was constructed for the proposal base case (operating at 190/350C in the PVT/CSP receivers respectively) and for exergy maximized cases with alternative operating temperatures, band edges, and band gaps.  The platform from which to explore the design space further is now functional and providing high quality data.

Progress Updates
May 2015 Progress Update 

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