To significantly improve the present-day high-power solar laser beam quality, a three-stage multi- Fresnel lenses approach is proposed for side-pumping either a Nd:YAG single-crystal or a core-doped Sm3+ Nd:YAG ceramic rod. Optimum pumping and laser beam parameters are found through ZEMAX and LASCAD numerical analysis. The proposed scheme offers a uniform absorption profile along the rod. 167 W laser power can be achieved, corresponding to 29.3 W/m2 collection efficiency. High brightness figure of merit of 8.34 W is expected for the core-doped rod within a convex-concave resonator, which is 1300 times higher than that of the most-recent high-power solar laser.