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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2013, Article ID 235875, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/235875
Research Article

Thin-Film LSCs Based on PMMA Nanohybrid Coatings: Device Optimization and Outdoor Performance

1Department of Physics and Astronomy, Science College, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Benha University, Benha 13518, Egypt

Received 19 August 2013; Accepted 23 September 2013

Academic Editor: Maria da Graça P. Neves

Copyright © 2013 S. M. El-Bashir et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This study concerns the design optimization of thin-film luminescent solar concentrators (TLSCs) based on polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)/silica nanohybrid films doped with coumarin dyestuffs specialized in coloring plastics. Two designs of TLSCs had been prepared and characterized. The first consists of a transparent nanohybrid layer coated on a fluorescent PMMA substrate. The second design is the ordinary configuration in which fluorescent nanohybrid layer is coated on a transparent PMMA substrate. The investigation of the spectral properties and efficiency parameters recommended the best solar energy conversion efficiency for the second design. The outdoor performance of optimized TLSC was also evaluated under clear sky conditions of Riyadh city, and the hourly values of the optical efficiency, , were calculated for one year. The best performance was achieved in summer since the short circuit current for PV cell was doubled after being attached to TLSC and the value of reached 40% which is higher than other values recorded before due to the abundant solar energy potential in the Arabian Peninsula.