3D Printing of Luminescent Solar Concentrators

Luminescent solar concentrators (LSC) are an emerging complementary technology to photovoltaic cells, that enable efficient harvesting of sunlight in the urban environment. A typical LSC is a plastic slab that absorbs sunlight and re-emits light of a tailored wavelength towards its edges, where solar cells can be installed. LSCs are colourful, semi-transparent, and modular – characteristics that can be exploited for architectural design. However, their efficiency is highly dependent on their size and geometry.

Luminescent polymer filament for 3D printing. Photo courtesy of Shomik Verma.

We are currently investigating the use of 3D printing as a low cost, high throughput methodology to screen different LSC architectures. This involves fabricating luminescent filament, computer-aided design of LSC architectures, optimisation of the printing process, and optical characterisation of the prototype performance.