Applications of Luminescent Solar Concentrators
Daigle, Quinn Joseph
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Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are a promising technology because they are inexpensive, lightweight, aesthetically versatile, and offer wavelength-selective transparency. This thesis investigates the use of LSCs for building energy applications, with emphasis on thermal energy utilization. A spectral modeling method is developed to analyze the benefits of integrating LSCs into greenhouse rooftops, solar thermal collectors, and solar air heaters. Results show red LSCs can increase greenhouse profits by up to 40%. Furthermore, a novel experimental method wherein Newtons law of cooling is used to determine the thermal energy generated by LSCs is demonstrated. The thermal energy generated by LSCs can be used to substantially reduce building energy consumption. By integrating LSCs into solar thermal collectors the temperature of the collector fluid can be increased from ~140C to over 200C. Despite these advances, the efficiency of LSCs must be improved to realize their full potential and make widespread commercialization viable.