Luminescent Solar Concentrators

Evert P.J. Merkx, Erik Van der Kolk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific

3 Citations (Scopus)


Intended as an electricity generating replacement for windows, luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are at the borderline of indoor photovoltaics. In urban environments, space to install outdoor PV is limited to just the roof of a building, directly limiting the amount of energy that can be generated. LSCs aim to overcome this limitation by seamlessly integrating PV into the building envelope. This chapter explicates the luminescent phenomena and the working principle behind LSCs. Analytical and discretized techniques for simulating LSCs are presented and provided as downloadable examples. These same techniques show that an LSC can increase the performance of its PV frame with negligible dimming, even at nonperfect conversion efficiencies. This enhancement increases with window size. An overview of the optical properties of 28 state-of-the-art LSCs is presented. These LSCs are evaluated on performance for building-integrated purposes. Simulations show that LSCs with an optical efficiency of more than 2.8% are already possible for nontoxic quantum dot-based LSCs, without compromising on color rendering properties. Next to these state-of-the-art LSCs, a new development in the form of thulium-doped halides is highlighted. These halides are able to absorb the entire visible spectrum without coloration, and could be scaled to efficient LSCs of arbitrary sizes thanks to their lack of self-absorption. As IPV is an emerging application for LSCs, most of the chapter focuses on LSCs for window applications in order to outline the theoretical foundations. In addition to that, developments in LSCs for usage as indoor-only photovoltaic are illustrated with a fully worked-out example of an LSC as tabletop. Next to this IPV simulation, colorful designs that apply LSCs in other ways than just windows are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndoor Photovoltaics
Subtitle of host publicationMaterials, Modeling and Applications
EditorsMonika Freunek Muller
Number of pages56
ISBN (Electronic)9781119605768
ISBN (Print)9781119605591
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Building-integrated photovoltaics
  • computation methods
  • concentrators
  • fluorescent and luminescent materials
  • luminescence
  • solar energy


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