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Methods and Apparatuses for Minimum Mass Solar Tracking

Technology:

The present invention is related to optics. The key novelties introduced by the present invention are tracking mechanisms involving a minimum moved mass. It also describes novel methods and apparatuses for optical beam manipulation based on mechanisms such as object trapping and cavitation bubble generation. The invention utilizes the optical functionality of the manipulated or generated object by the input light to further maneuver the input light to obtain desired output light. As presented in the following embodiments the methods can be implemented in a concentrated solar tracking system which changes its form by moving a very small object as the condition (e.g. direction intensity etc.) of the incident sunlight varies so that the collected light always falls on the photovoltaic (PV) cell. Compared to conventional tracking approaches that move the mass of the entire module the present invention realizes a minimum moved mass during the tracking process. Other potential applications may include optical interconnections sensing or any area that may benefit from optically-controlled beam manipulation such as beam steering switching or shaping.

Benefits:

1) Low power consumption to move smaller tracking mass. 2) Efficient utilization of available light.

Date of release: