Solar photonics is a science on the boundary between photonics/optical communication and solar energy. Basically the idea is to distribute solar energy though optical fibres or other photonic guides (liquids). The term is first found in the work by a research team at the Department of Solar Energy and Environmental Physics at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel:
Solar photonics refers to the exploitation of the inherent photonic or quantum-mechanical value of sunlight... there are instances for which immense photon densities are required, as well as the wavelengths present in the solar spectrum.— Gordon Feuermann, Online pamphlet "Department of solar energy and environmental physics" page 13 (January 2000)[unreliable source?]
Examples mentioned in the referred publication are solar surgery, concentration of photonic power generation and solar photonics for nanotechnology.
- the wide spectrum of solar light
- the high power of concentrated solar light
- solar light concentration
- solar laser generation
- artificial photo-synthesis
- photo-voltaic or nanoantenna form of power generation
- diffusion for lighting
- diffused and beamed form of collection
- hybride and simultaneous applications
Optical fibres are not designed to the given conditions. Research will have to find solutions to enable high power light transmission through optical fibres and other devices (e.g. liquids).
Potential applications of solar photonics are indoor natural lighting using optical fibers or light pipes, high efficient improved solar power generation, clean fuel such as hydrogen generation and solar chemistry.
- Homepage of Prof. Jeffery M. Gordon
- Ben-Gurion University of Negev, The Jacob Baustein Institute for Desert Research
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