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How Fresnel Lenses are used in Solar CPV Applications

31st Jan 2019

Fresnel lenses are flat on one side, with the other side made up of a number of concentric grooves acting as individual prisms, bending parallel light rays to a common focal length.

There are various types of Fresnel lens, each suited to different types of application.

For concentration photovoltaic (CPV) applications, large, hard-wearing acrylic Fresnel lenses of reverse configuration are used. Reverse configuration Fresnel lenses are designed so that the flat side faces the sun, and the grooved side faces the photovoltaic cell in order to focus the light.

How do Fresnel lenses work in CPV applications?

Solar concentrators have made use of Fresnel lenses since the early 21st century. They are able to take a large area of scattered sunlight and concentrate it into a tight beam. The lenses bend the rays of light and focus them on the cell, much like using a magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun onto kindling to start a fire.

Solar concentrators are made up of many solar cells. In Fresnel concentrators, each of the solar cells has its own Fresnel lens.

Fresnel lenses increase the amount of sun striking each individual solar cell with a concentration ratio of around 500:1. This allows the active surface of the solar cell to be reduced in volume so that only a fairly small volume of silicon photovoltaic (PV) material is required.

With silicon PV responsible for the majority of the costs involved in producing solar panels, solar concentrators making use of Fresnel technology present an attractively cost-effective option, particularly for large scale installations.

Solar CPV optical components from Knight Optical

Knight Optical is an established supplier to the solar sector and has for many years been responsible for custom designing a range of optical components including Fresnel lenses as well as condenser lenses, front surface mirrors and a range of optical filters, all designed to meet precision requirements and environmental challenges.

We are equipped with the knowledge and in-depth understanding of the solar sector to assist industry players in meeting their goals. Innovation is key to keeping up with the evolution of technology in this sector, and we pride ourselves in being at the forefront in this respect.

For tailored advice on all your Fresnel lens and other solar industry optical components requirements from our multilingual technical sales team please call 01622 859444 or [email protected].

For full technical specifications on our full range of Fresnel lenses please visit