Low-cost, high-reliability sun sensor that determines the position of the sun for solar panels

Ref-Nr:

Technology abstract

LENS R&D offers a dedicated sensor that determines the position of the sun unambiguously and reliably for each individual solar concentrator. It allows the use of cheaper overall constructions and less complicated optical systems. These sun sensors are low-cost but very reliable. The sun sensors developed by LENS R&D are based on many years of development at TNO for the worldwide satellite market and optimized for high reliability low-cost volume production.

- Private group -

Sun sensors are used on virtually all satellites to measure their orientation with respect to the sun to allow a correct orientation in a reliable manner. To this extent a lot of money has been invested (in The Netherlands) to develop the required technology to manufacture extremely reliable sun sensors. Recently these basic technologies have been developed and proven for micro-satellite applications (by TNO) and optimized for low-cost recurring production (by LENS R&D).

- Derk Schneemann -

Read more about this broker

Technology Description

In order to optimize the collection of solar energy many initiatives are considering the use of solar concentrators. Efficient use of a solar concentrator requires that the solar energy must be correctly focused over time. For that reason the collectors need to be adjusted constantly in order to track the solar movement. For fixed installations, this can initially be performed by means of ‘dead reckoning’ but this solution is far from optimal.
A dedicated sensor that determines the position of the sun unambiguously and reliably for each panel would be a much better solution, allowing the use of cheaper overall constructions and less complicated optical systems. For obvious reasons these sun sensors should be low-cost but very reliable. The sun sensors developed by Lens R&D are based on many years of development at TNO for the worldwide satellite market and optimized for high reliability low-cost volume production.

Innovations & Advantages

The combination of a housing with integrated connector, special coatings to absorb stray light and automated assembly without manual adjustments allow for a unprecedented quality-to-cost ratio without any compromise to the reliability of the product.

Current and Potential Domains of Application

  • Solar energy plants
  • Domotica (smart buildings)
  • Robotics