|Organization Name||Columbia Tech Ventures|
|Institutional ID Number||10634|
|Technology Tags or Keywords|
This technology presents elegant solutions that optimize the energy conversion process and minimize system complexity. Efficient power conversion is achieved with a Spherical Gradient Index (GRIN) lens that can focus a wide range of wavelengths (ligh...
|Technology page URL||http://techventures.columbia.edu|
|Detailed Technology Description||
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SummaryLead Inventors: Vijay Modi, Ph.D., Jeffey Gordon, Ph. D., Panagiotis Kotsidas
Problem or Unmet Need:
The ability to convert solar energy into electrical energy is becoming increasingly important. However, efficient conversion of solar energy to electricity remains a challenging subject because two complex processes are involved. Not only does it require focusing solar power with mirrors or lenses onto a small area where conversion takes place, but also tracking solar motion throughout the day. Thus current solar technology fails to be efficient for two reasons: first, mirrors and lenses are designed for specific wavelengths and the focal distance for other wavelengths varies -- preventing efficient focusing of sunlight and reducing the overall conversion efficiency. Second, aligning the optics with the sun's position throughout the day adds complexity and cost. There is an urgent need for solar technology that allows efficient focusing of sunlight, reduces complexity associated with tracking the sun's movements, and minimizes costs.
This technology presents elegant solutions that optimize the energy conversion process and minimize system complexity. Efficient power conversion is achieved with a Spherical Gradient Index (GRIN) lens that can focus a wide range of wavelengths (light) at the same distance. Complexity is minimized through re-engineering of the traditional photovoltaic concentrator. It is designed with only one moving lens and is enclosed in a box; unlike conventional photovoltaic concentrators, it has no external moving parts.
PublicationsPanagiotis Kotsidas, Vijay Modi, and Jeffrey M. Gordon, "Nominally stationary high-concentration solar optics by gradient-index lenses," Opt. Express vol. 19, pp. 2325-2334 (2011).
Columbia Technology Ventures
Tel: (212) 854-8444