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Flat Solar Concentrator: Cheap, Durable, 30% Efficient


solar_x220Nicolas Morgan, the director of a Toronto-based firm, named “Morgan Solar”, helped by his brother, John Paul Morgan, has invented a solar concentrator that gives a different approach to solar concentrators, by making them more appealing both as price and as durability/efficiency.

Their new solar concentrator device is called “Light-Guide Solar Optic”, and it uses no mirrors, complex optical setups, or chemicals to trap and use the incoming light. It is made of molded acrylic material, and it bends the light that comes from whatever angle into the same central point, where it is directed outside. He exemplifies this by pointing a penlight directly at the concentrator’s flat surface, which directs it towards the center.

The advantage of Morgan’s concentrator is that it is a solid state, with no need of complicated optical technology and transporting system, that would rise the price many times.

Embedded in the center of Morgan Solar’s concentrator is a secondary, round optic made of glass. With a flat bottom and convex, mirrored top, the optic receives the incoming barrage of light at a concentration of about 50 suns and amplifies it to nearly 1,000 suns before bending the light through a 90-degree angle.

Morgan’s solar concentrator is made to last: its lifetime is projected to about 25 years. That’s why they use glass instead of acrylic in the power-part of it and limit the light concentration to 50 suns. The whole system is designed in such manner that it is about 30% efficient and its price rivals to the one of thin film. They will also use precise sun-tracking devices to ensure best efficiency.

The company says that the first commercial samples will be available in about 2 years.

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