Luminescent Solar Concentrators
Using AQM SiQDs, highly efficient luminescent solar concentrators (LSC) are being designed and constructed to enable building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) windows. These sunlight harvesting windows will revolutionize urban architecture by turning windows into power sources and convert the passive facades of urban buildings into distributed energy generation units, while simultaneously reducing the heat gain of the building. LSCs consist of transparent waveguides doped with highly emissive chromophores which down-convert and concentrate sunlight onto small PV cells coupled to the LSC edges. Because of their easy integration into active architectural elements, LSCs are considered one of the most promising BIPV for highly-populated urban areas, where rooftop surfaces are insufficient for collecting all the energy required for a building’s operations.
In contrast to LSCs, typical solar harvesting window concepts utilize expensive multi-layered photovoltaic stacks that cover the entire window, whereas the LSC requires only a very narrow strip of solar cells along the edge of the window. Other companies use organic photovoltaics, which can vary in color, transparency and photostability.
AQM technology combines the outstanding structural, physical and optoelectronic properties of silicon nanocrystals to produce intimately mixed, uniform polymer composites as well as solution-processable, covalently linked silicon-polymer hybrids, resulting in materials with highly efficient luminescence down-shifting and light propagation properties. Solution processability of Si-polymer hybrids makes them excellent candidates for fabrication of luminescent solar concentrators with large-areas.