Optical Concentrators for Concentrating Solar Power Systems


Jacobs Hall, Room 2512, Jacobs School of Engineering, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, San Diego, California 92093

Sponsored By:
Professor Boubacar Kante

Julius Yellowhair, PhD
Sandia National Laboratories
Julius Yellowhair, PhD


A new generation of power plants called Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) that uses the sun as a heat source to generate electricity is on the rise. The first subsystem in a CSP plant are large mirrors that collect and concentrate the sunlight onto a fluid carrying receiver, hence the name solar collector or solar concentrator. These solar concentrators accurately track the sun daily and yearly to maintain high energy yield.  In this talk, the function of solar concentrators and the different types of concentrators that are used in CSP will be discussed. A typical concentrator is composed of glass and silver reflector. For a 100 MW (electrical) power plant about 1,000,000 square meters of mirror reflective area is needed. To reduce cost, improve on the optical performance, and relax the tracking requirements, a new type of concentrator is being developed which uses dielectric metastructures. A background on this latest technology for solar applications will be provided.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Julius Yellowhair is a Principal Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories where he has worked since 2009 on problems involving concentrating solar technologies and photovoltaic technologies, in particular in evaluating optical performance and cost of collectors/concentrators, and exploring self-cleaning mirrors. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in optical sciences from the University of Arizona. He specializes in optical metrology development, optical modeling and analysis, flux evaluations for concentrating solar power systems, and optical characterization of solar technology components.

Julie Moritz (jmoritz@eng.ucsd.edu)