16 Facts About Nonimaging optics


Nonimaging optics is the branch of optics concerned with the optimal transfer of light radiation between a source and a target.

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Also, for low concentrations, the very wide acceptance angles of nonimaging optics can avoid solar tracking altogether or limit it to a few positions a year.

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Main disadvantage of nonimaging optics when compared to parabolic reflectors or Fresnel lenses is that, for high concentrations, they typically have one more optical surface, slightly decreasing efficiency.

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That is only noticeable when the Nonimaging optics are aiming perfectly towards the sun, which is typically not the case because of imperfections in practical systems.

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Examples of nonimaging illumination optics using solar energy are anidolic lighting or solar pipes.

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Some design methods for nonimaging optics are finding application in imaging devices, for example some with ultra-high numerical aperture.

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Imaging Nonimaging optics can concentrate sunlight to, at most, the same flux found at the surface of the sun.

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Nonimaging optics have been demonstrated to concentrate sunlight to 84,000 times the ambient intensity of sunlight, exceeding the flux found at the surface of the sun, and approaching the theoretical limit of heating objects to the temperature of the sun's surface.

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Simplest way to design nonimaging optics is called "the method of strings", based on the edge ray principle.

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Typically Nonimaging optics have refractive and reflective surfaces and light travels through media of different refractive indices as it crosses the optic.

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SMS Nonimaging optics are calculated by applying a constant optical path length between wavefronts.

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However, manufacturing of variable refractive index Nonimaging optics is still not possible and this method, although potentially powerful, did not yet find a practical application.

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In concentration Nonimaging optics, it relates the acceptance angle with the maximum concentration possible.

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In practice, Kohler optics are typically not designed as a combination of nonimaging optics, but they are simplified versions with a lower number of active optical surfaces.

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Also, Kohler Nonimaging optics are often divided into several sectors, each one of them channeling light separately and then combining all the light on the target.

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An example of one of these Nonimaging optics used for solar concentration is the Fresnel-R Kohler.

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