PhD student Lindsey Gray and Professor Dave Carroll have co-authored an Impact Article in MRS Bulletin. These are selected articles that are expected to have a high impact on materials research and society in general.
The large entry cost of solar makes it unattainable for large segments of the world’s population. In this article, they present a photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) system, made of low-cost, easily accessible materials that are simple to manufacture. Together, the components of the system harvest energy from nearly the entire solar spectrum using a photovoltaic, infrared-absorbing thermal fluid and a Stokes shifting dye. The geometry of the PV/T acts as a passive microlens system while providing the additional benefit of keeping the PV cool. The modeling presented allows for optimization in specific applications.