• PVMirror – A High-Efficiency Solar Module

      Hyatt, Justin; Mrkonich, Jeffrey; Reinhart, Lennon; Taylor, Wyatt; Steward Observatory; College of Optical Sciences; Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (2016-02-24)
      To make photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) more practical forms of alternative energy, creative innovations to current solar energy methods must be employed. The PVMirror – a new technology – is our solution to that problem. The PVMirror combines PV and CSP technologies by splitting the spectrum of sunlight using a dichroic mirror film. Light that is not transmitted to the solar cell is to instead be reflected to a focus, by way of a curved mirror. This hybrid of technologies is competitive, as it is both efficient and affordable compared to many other innovations in renewable energy. The PVMirror is designed to be an easy and cost-effective replacement to the reflectors used in existing CSP plants. Ultimately, we hope to demonstrate this PVMirror technology on a large scale and market it. As validated from interviewing with industry professionals, this technology has the potential to impact the world of solar energy because many industrial companies and utility-scale CSP project developers are interested in pairing CSP and PV to increase efficiency. Currently, using an outdoor sun tracker, we are testing an 18 inch by 18 inch prototype with four solar cells.