Indoor Experimental Assessment of the Efficiency and Irradiance Spot of the Achromatic Doublet on Glass (ADG) Fresnel Lens for Concentrating Photovoltaics

J Vis Exp. 2017 Oct 27;(128):56269. doi: 10.3791/56269.


We present a method to characterize achromatic Fresnel lenses for photovoltaic applications. The achromatic doublet on glass (ADG) Fresnel lens is composed of two materials, a plastic and an elastomer, whose dispersion characteristics (refractive index variation with wavelength) are different. We first designed the lens geometry and then used ray-tracing simulation, based on the Monte Carlo method, to analyze its performance from the point of view of both optical efficiency and the maximum attainable concentration. Afterwards, ADG Fresnel lens prototypes were manufactured using a simple and reliable method. It consists of a prior injection of plastic parts and a consecutive lamination, together with the elastomer and a glass substrate to fabricate the parquet of ADG Fresnel lenses. The accuracy of the manufactured lens profile is examined using an optical microscope while its optical performance is evaluated using a solar simulator for concentrator photovoltaic systems. The simulator is composed of a xenon flash lamp whose emitted light is reflected by a parabolic mirror. The collimated light has a spectral distribution and an angular aperture similar to the real Sun. We were able to assess the optical performance of the ADG Fresnel lenses by taking photographs of the irradiance spot cast by the lens using a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera and measuring the photocurrent generated by several types of multi junction (MJ) solar cells, which have been previously characterized at a solar simulator for concentrator solar cells. These measurements have demonstrated the achromatic behavior of ADG Fresnel lenses and, as a consequence, the suitability of the modelling and manufacturing methods.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Electrochemical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Electrochemical Techniques / methods*
  • Lenses*
  • Light
  • Refractometry / instrumentation