Solar Energy Maximiser


Optical Engineering wish to develop a high performance photovoltaic based solar
collector with a 3 fold increase in power output over current offerings. The product will use a
solar harvesting area three quarters smaller and much simpler than currently available, using
optics to concentrate and steer solar energy onto Photo voltaic cells. this approach will reduce
the conventional tracking of the sun from two planes to a single linear motion which will be
done within the system. Novel optics will also reduce the accuracy of the tracking needed
improving the system performance and output duration. By keeping the moving parts within a
sealed system the impact on the environment and maintenance will be significantly reduced:
low curvateure outer optics will be much easier to clean than the heavily radiused, or stepped
fresnel lenses found in most concentrating systems. The current system offerings are
frequently based upon silicon based photo cells which are at best 13% efficient – which
means large areas committed to extracting a small amount of electricity from the sun.
Currently high efficiency solar cells cost significantly more per watt making them
commercially uncompetitive.
Our approach uses an innovative approach to significantly increase the collection efficiency
by both generating electricity at a conversion rate of 40% and making use of heat generated.
To do this we utilise highly efficient multiple junction photovoltaic cells and integrate them
with cooling circuits to increase the efficiency of an air conditioning cycle. By integrating
both these circuit in a stand alone module our system will be able to provide both hot water
and electricity from a small foot print module. Since up to 70% of electricity in some
countries is used to provide air conditioning and cooling our system could be used to power a
heat exchanger to convert hot water to cold.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer



Laser Optical Engineering Limited, Castle Donnington, United Kingdom




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