Innovative solar tracking concept by rotating prism array
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© 2014 Héctor García et al.Solar energy has become one of the most promising renewable energies and is the most widely used nowadays. In order to achieve an optimum performance, both photovoltaic and solar thermal applications are required to track the position of the sun throughout the day and year in the most effective way possible to avoid a high negative impact on the system efficiency. The present paper attempts to describe a novel semipassive solar tracking concentrator (SPSTC) in which, in order to track the sun, two independent arrays of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) prisms are implemented to refract sunlight by rotating said prisms, thus being able to redirect solar radiation as desired. The first set is responsible for eliminating one of the directional components of the solar radiation; the task is achieved by rotating the prisms within the array at a specific angle. The second set deals with another of the sunlight's directional components, transforming its direction into a completely perpendicular pattern to the array. Having downward vertical radiation makes it possible to implement a stationary Fresnel lens to concentrate the solar radiation for any application desired. The system is designed and validated using simulation software to prove the feasibility of the concept.