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Published October 10, 2012 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Reflection hologram solar spectrum-splitting filters


In this paper we investigate the use of holographic filters in solar spectrum splitting applications. Photovoltaic (PV) systems utilizing spectrum splitting have higher theoretical conversion efficiency than single bandgap cell modules. Dichroic band-rejection filters have been used for spectrum splitting applications with some success however these filters are limited to spectral control at fixed reflection angles. Reflection holographic filters are fabricated by recording interference pattern of two coherent beams at arbitrary construction angles. This feature can be used to control the angles over which spectral selectivity is obtained. In addition focusing wavefronts can also be used to increase functionality in the filter. Holograms fabricated in dichromated gelatin (DCG) have the benefit of light weight, low scattering and absorption losses. In addition, reflection holograms recorded in the Lippmann configuration have been shown to produce strong chirping as a result of wet processing. Chirping broadens the filter rejection bandwidth both spectrally and angularly. It can be tuned to achieve spectral bandwidth suitable for spectrum splitting applications. We explore different DCG film fabrication and processing parameters to improve the optical performance of the filter. The diffraction efficiency bandwidth and scattering losses are optimized by changing the exposure energy, isopropanol dehydration bath temperature and hardening bath duration. A holographic spectrum-splitting PV module is proposed with Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) and silicon (Si) PV cells with efficiency of 25.1% and 19.7% respectively. The calculated conversion efficiency with a prototype hologram is 27.94% which is 93.94% compared to the ideal spectrum-splitting efficiency of 29.74%.

Additional Information

© 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). The authors wish to acknowledge support from the NSF/DOE ERC cooperative agreement No. EEC-1041895, the NSF Grant No. 0925085 and Research Corporation.

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