Document Type

Theses, Ph.D

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

2.3 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the Award of Doctor of Philosophy to the Dublin Institute of Technology, 2009.

Abstract

Due to the finite resources of fossil fuel and nuclear reserves, renewable energy technologies much provide an increasing proportion of future energy needs, if the world’s population are to expect a secure and sustainable developed society. Quantum dot solar concentrators (QDSCs) can potentially reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) electrical power generation and thereby further the growth in installed PV capacity. QDSCs can concentrate both the direct and diffuse components of solar radiation which makes them particularly suitable for climates where the diffuse component is predominant. A QDSC model has been developed based on Monte-Carlo ray-trace techniques. The model allows the multiple competing, interdependent QDSC loss mechanisms to be quantified for any given set of device parameters. The model provides an important tool for optimizing QDSC design in terms of varying geometry, PV cell configuration, matrix material, and quantum dot types. Combining the ray-trace model with solar radiation models, diurnal and seasonal variations in QDSC performance can be analysed, the devices further optimised for outdoor conditions. Model predictions show that variable QDSCs are realizable provided efficient near intra-red emitting quantum dots can be exploited.