Sustainable Liquid Luminescent Solar Concentrators


Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are photovoltaic (PV) complementary devices to overcome the mismatch between the Si-based PV cells, response and the solar spectrum, allowing PV urban integration. Challenges for the luminescent layer include the use of abundant and sustainable natural organic molecules. Here, LSCs composed of a glass container and based on bundles of cylindrical hollow-core plastic optical fibers filled with aqueous solutions of R-phycoerythrin (R-PE), extracted from Gracilaria sp. algae are presented. The R-PE solutions absorb in the UV/visible spectral range (300-550 nm) and convert this radiation into red-emission (550-700 nm) with a maximum absolute quantum yield of approximate to 0.39. In this work, LSCs with distinct geometries are reported, in which the R-PE emission yields optical conversion efficiency values up to approximate to 6.88% and approximate to 4.74% for a planar device and for a bundle of cylindrical LSCs, respectively, which are the largest values known for liquid-based LCSs using sustainable emitting centres. Moreover, the coupling of the LSCs to commercial Si-based PV devices yields power conversion efficiency values of approximate to 0.27% (planar) and approximate to 23.03 x 10(-3)%, (bundle). These values illustrate the potential of this approach for the development of natural-based LSCs meeting the requirements of reliable, sustainable, and competitive energy systems.



subject category

Science & Technology - Other Topics; Materials Science


Frias, AR; Correia, SFH; Martins, M; Ventura, SPM; Pecoraro, E; Ribeiro, SL; Andre, PS; Ferreira, RAS; Coutinho, JAP; Carlos, LD

our authors


Portuguese funding was provided by Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia (FCT), EU/FEDER COMPETE and Mais Centro-PORC, under contracts PEST-OE/EEI/LA0008/2013 and CENTRO-07-ST24-FEDER-002032. This work was developed within the scope of the projects CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007679 (FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2013), SusPhotoSolutions-Solucoes Fotovoltaicas Sustentaveis, CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000005, Solar-Flex, CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-030186, and Instituto de Telecomunicacoes (FCT Ref. UID/EEA/50008/2013), financed by funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate cofinanced by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. Solar-Flex is a bilateral FCT/Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil, project (2018/07727-7). The authors acknowledge ALGAPlus-Producao e Comercializacao de Algas e seus Derivados for seaweed samples and A.R.F. and M.M. thank FCT for the PhD grants (PD/BD/114454/2016 and SFRH/BD/122220/2016, respectively). S.F.H.C. and S.P.M.V. thank SusPhotoSolutions for the postdoctoral grant and FCT for the IF (IF/00402/2015) contract, respectively.

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