High-concentration photovoltaic designs based on miniature parabolic dishes Academic Article uri icon


  • The recent development of photovoltaic cells for high flux levels, of the order of 1000 suns, opens new challenges for the design of solar cell concentrators. A new approach for concentrating photovoltaic systems that can easily attain the maximum flux levels commensurate with solar cell technology is proposed. The collection unit is a miniature paraboloidal dish (e.g., with a diameter of the order of 10 cm) that concentrates sunlight into a short glass rod. The flux distribution of the transported light is homogenized in a miniature glass kaleidoscope that is optically coupled to a small, high-efficiency solar cell. The cell resides behind the dish and can be cooled adequately with a passive heat sink. These nominally independent collection units can be assembled into modules and arrays that produce almost any prescribed power level. All system elements are predicated on existing technologies.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001