The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) takes into account more than just the cost of power output. It
encompasses product longevity, performance degradation and the costs associated with delivering energy to the grid tie
point. Concentrator optical design is one of the key components to minimizing the LCOE, by affecting conversion
efficiency, acceptance angle and the amount of energy concentrated on the receiver.
Optical systems for concentrators, even those at high concentrations ( >350X) can be designed by
straightforward techniques, and will operate under most circumstances. Adding requirements for generous acceptance
angles, non-destructive off-axis operation, safety and high efficiency however, complicate the design. Furthermore, the
demands of high volume manufacturing, efficient logistics, minimal field commissioning time and low cost lead to quite
complicated, system level design trade-offs. The technology which we will discuss features an array of reflective optics,
scaled to be fabricated by techniques used in the automotive industry. The design couples a two-element imaging system
to a non-imaging total internal reflection tertiary in a very compact design, with generous tolerance margins. Several
optical units are mounted in a housing, which protects the optics and assists with dissipating waste heat.
This paper outlines the key elements in the design of SolFocus concentrator optics, and discusses tradeoffs and
experience with various design approaches.