Investigations of a Fresnel-lens solar collector

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Abstract

The Danish company Heliac has developed a concentrating solar collector based on a unique and inexpensive polymer film. The film features a microstructure surface of Fresnel-lenses, which is applied to the backside of a float glass. Each collector consists of eight lenses mounted on a two-axis solar tracker, shown in Figure 1, which refracts the solar radiation towards a central focus point. The film can be manufactured using a novel roll-to-roll manufacturing method at a fraction of the cost of conventional solutions. Due to the low-cost lens and usage of standard components, the collector has the potential to deliver very low-cost heat.

However, two barriers were identified as limiting the commercial adoption of the technology:
• The lifetime of the original film was only 3-5 years, reducing the economic viability
• The current design features a number of safety concerns that have the potential to lead to injuries or cause material damage

To address these two barriers, the project "New silicone-based lenses for low cost concentrated solar heat" was initiated as a collaboration between Heliac, the Technical University of Denmark, Inmold, and E.ON. The project was financially supported by the Danish Energy Agency's Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program under grant number: 64018-0606.
The aim of this report is to present parts of the results of the project, namely a comparison of the transmissivity of alternative lens materials and an investigation of the undesired focus spots produced when not in tracking mode.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark, Department of Civil Engineering
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)87-7877-575-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Report no. BYG R-471

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