Luminescent Solar Concentrator windows for sustainable electricity generation over agricultural land

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Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) consisting of a transparent plate embedded with a high quantum yield luminescent dye may be used in conjunction with Photovoltaic (PV) cells to enhance the power output of the cells, thus lowering the cost per watt of solar-generated electricity. One specific application is incorporation into greenhouses, for which they are an ideal candidate to simultaneously harvest solar energy while enhancing the growth of plants inside. In addition, these electricity-generating panels would be installed directly into greenhouses without requiring any additional structural costs, hence they are Building Incorporated Photovoltaics (BIPV) which also reduces the cost per Watt of the system. In the first stage of this study, data was gathered in order to design an optimized LSC window utilizing the new and innovative front-facing LSC instead of the more traditional side-facing LCS. The second stage of the project was growth of agricultural crops under LSCs during the 2012 growing season in California. Ornamentals, cut flowers, and fruits/veggies were grown and plant growth as well as fruit/veggie production was monitored. During this time, power generation data was collected and various LSC panel designs as well as cell types were tested.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2013: Bio Sensors, Instruments, Medical, Environment and Energy (Volume 3)
Published: May 12, 2013
Pages: 513 - 515
Industry sector: Energy & Sustainability
Topics: Solar Technologies
ISBN: 978-1-4822-0586-2