Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Reilly, David & Cheng, Jiangtao
Description: This paper discusses electrowetting solar cell. Abstract: A solar concentrator was developed using a novel optofluidic system. With two immiscible fluids (water and silicone oil) in a transparent cell of aperture size 10mm x 10mm, the authors can actively control the contact angle along the fluid-fluid-solid tri-junction line and hence the orientation of the fluid-fluid interface via electrowetting With 1 wt% KCl and 1 wt% SDS (Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate) added into DI water, the orientation of the water-silicone oil interface can be successfully modulated between 0º and 26º, deflecting sunlight within the incidence angle of 0º-15º. Without any mechanical moving parts, this dynamic liquid prism allows the device to adaptively track both the daily and seasonal changes of the Sun's orbit, i.e., dual-axis tracking. This invention reduces capital costs for concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) and increases operational efficiency by eliminating the power consumption of mechanical tracking. Most importantly, the elimination of bulky tracking hardware and quiet operation will allow extensive residential deployment of concentrated solar power. In comparison with traditional silicon-based PV solar cells, the electrowetting-based self-tracking technology will generate ~70% more green energy with a 50% cost reduction. The success of this program has huge market impacts and will enable ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Honors College