Ce:Nd:YAG Solar Laser with 4.5% Solar-to-Laser Conversion Efficiency

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Abstract

The efficiency potential of a small-size solar-pumped laser is studied here. The solar laser head was composed of a fused silica aspheric lens and a conical pump cavity, which coupled and redistributed the concentrated solar radiation from the focal zone of a parabolic mirror with an effective collection area of 0.293 m2 to end-side pump a Ce (0.1 at%):Nd (1.1 at%):YAG rod of 2.5 mm diameter and 25 mm length. Optimum solar laser design parameters were found through Zemax© non-sequential ray-tracing and LASCAD™ analysis. The utilization of the Ce:Nd:YAG medium with small diameter pumped by a small-scale solar concentrator was essential to significantly enhance the end-side pump solar laser efficiency and thermal performance. For 249 W incoming solar power at an irradiance of 850 W/m2, 11.2 W multimode solar laser power was measured, corresponding to the record solar-to-laser power conversion efficiency of 4.50%, being, to the best of our knowledge, 1.22 times higher than the previous record. Moreover, the highest solar laser collection efficiency of 38.22 W/m2 and slope efficiency of 6.8% were obtained, which are 1.18 and 1.02 times, respectively, higher than the previous records. The lowest threshold solar power of a Ce:Nd:YAG solar-pumped laser is also reported here.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5292
Number of pages15
JournalEnergies
Volume15
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Ce:Nd:YAG
  • laser efficiency
  • parabolic mirror
  • solar-pumped laser

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