Concentrating optics: From giant astronomical telescopes to low-cost HCPV

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Triple-junction PV cells used at 1000x concentration are both highly efficient and inexpensive, per watt of electricity produced. A power system based on telescope design principles uses these cells to make utility-scale solar electricity at cost parity with fossil fuel. First, sunlight is concentrated by an array of large square dish reflectors, co-aligned in a mechanically-efficient, open spaceframe structure with built-in elevation tracking axis and drive. Second, the concentrated sunlight at each focus is converted into electricity by many cells packaged in a small receiver, with a ball lens and optical funnels to ensure even distribution between cells. This architecture is optimized for minimum cost in high volume production. The large steel and glass elements and the small integrated receiver and radiator are separately manufactured and shipped for assembly in a facility near the solar plant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIP Conference Proceedings
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event7th International Conference on Concentrating Photovoltaic Systems, CPV-7 - Las Vegas, NV, United States
Duration: Apr 4 2011Apr 6 2011


Other7th International Conference on Concentrating Photovoltaic Systems, CPV-7
CountryUnited States
CityLas Vegas, NV



  • back-silvered glass reflector dish
  • spaceframe structure
  • triple-junction cells
  • utility-scale solar electricity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this