Optics for Solar Energy (SOLAR)

Optics for Solar Energy (SOLAR)

SOLAR focuses on optics for solar energy applications including design, modeling, integration of novel materials, manufacture, field-testing and deployment, and economics.  All forms of solar energy generation, transmission and storage – from thermal to photovoltaic to novel methods – will be covered. The program will highlight presentations spanning technology, public policy and finance.

SOLAR Keynote

Roland WinstonRoland Winston
University of California Merced


The progress in solar energy has been driven by the fields of optics, solid-state physics, thermal science, materials and chemistry. They play a key role in the development of present and future solar energy technologies. Optical elements are used for collecting, guiding, concentrating, coupling, trapping, transforming and absorbing the light in solar energy systems.

This conference focuses on optical science and applications in the field of solar energy conversion, mainly in the areas of solar thermal and concentrating photovoltaics. Both technologies are experiencing a rapid progress, which strongly rely on the advances in efficiency, cost and reliability of their optical elements

Fundamental and applied concepts are addressed at the conference, including design, analysis, integration, simulation, characterization, novel materials, manufacturability and reliability. Techno-economic analyses of these solutions are also encouraged.

Traditionally, the Optics for Solar conference has attracted professionals and scientists from many different scientific and industrial areas, which are thus enriched with a multidisciplinary view of the technical challenges beyond the state-of-the-art. Optical scientists, physicists, engineers and industry managers are brought together to discuss the most novel developments in the field with the aim of improving the competitiveness of solar energy.

  1. Advances in Concentrator Optics
    1. Non-imaging optics for CPV and solar thermal applications
    2. Materials, coatings and manufacturing processes

  2. Novel CPV Architectures
    1. thin- and micro-lens arrays, microsystems-enabled PV,
    2. tracking-integrated concentrators,
    3. spectral splitting
    4. fluorescent and holographic concentrators
    5. light-guide concentrators

  3. Concentrating Solar Power: advances in collector, receiver, absorber and storage technologies.

  4. Solar Thermochemistry:  advances in reactor technologies and reactive materials.

  5. Light-guide Systems for Solar Energy Applications (PV, illumination, thermal, laser pumping)

  6. Optical Modelling of Solar Energy Systems
    1. physical optics
    2. ray optics
    3. multi-scale modeling

  7. Characterization of Solar Concentrators and Systems (optical tools, solar simulators, outdoor characterization, atmospheric scattering measurements)

  8. Field Performance/Benchmarking of CPV/CSP Systems

  9. Reliability of Concentrator Optics

  10. Lifecycle and Techno-economic Analysis of CPV/solar Thermal Systems

  11. Public Policy Forum

Steven Chu, Stanford University, USA

James G. Anderson, Anderson Group, Harvard University, USA

Toshihiko Iwasaki, Konica Minolta, Japan

Martin Green,  University of South Wales, Australia

Roland Winston, University of California Merced, USA

Leonid Dombrovsky, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia, Simple Physical Models for Engineering Estimates Of Radiative Transfer In Particle Clouds and Dispersed Materials, Invited

Alain Ferriere, CNRS, France, Concentrating Systems for Solar Thermal Electricity: State-of-the-art and Future Trends, Invited

James Foresi, Suncore Photovoltaic Technology Co., Ltd, United States, Suncore's CPV Technology for Large-scale Grid-connected Solar Power Plants , Invited

Stephen Goodnick, Arizona State University, United States, High Temperature Ingan Topping Cells for Hybrid Photovoltaic/concentrating Solar Thermal Systems , Invited

Jeffrey Gordon, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, Solar Conversion By Rectifying Antennas: A New Paradigm , Invited

Michael Haney, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, United States, Micro-scale Concentrated Photovoltaics: A Technologically Disruptive Approach To Flat-panel Solar Cells? , Invited

Kazuo Hasegawa, Toyota Central R&D Labs Inc, Japan, Solar-pumped Laser and Its Application To Energy Conversion , Invited

Thorsten Hornung, Fraunhofer ISE, Germany, Characterization Of Optics for Concentrating Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Applications , Invited

Abraham Kribus, Tel-Aviv University, Israel, Solar Electricity with Photon-enhanced Thermionic Emission (pete) , Invited

Tohru Nakagawa, Panasonic Corporation, Japan, High-efficiency Thin and Compact Concentrator Photovoltaics with Micro-solar Cells Directly Attached to Lens Array , Invited

G.J. 'Gus' Nathan, University of Adelaide, Australia, Optics and Photonics in Solar Thermal Energy Technologies , Invited

Gregory Nielson, Sandia National Laboratories, United States, Microlens Arrays and Micro-scale Solar Cells for Low-cost Solar Power , Invited

John Pye, Australian National University, Australia, Improved Tubular Receivers for Point-focus Concentrators , Invited

Gary Rosengarten, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, Solar Beam Splitting for the Efficient Generation Of Electricity and High Temperature Thermal Energy , Invited

Wes Stein, CSIRO Energy Flagship, Australia, Collecting and Converting Photons for Thermal Processes, Invited

Noboru Yamada, Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan, High- and Low-concentration Hybrid Concentrator Photovoltaic Module Toward Maximizing Solar Energy Utilization , Invited

Program Chair

César Domínguez, Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, France
Wojciech Lipinski, Australian National University, Australia
Takashi Yabe, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan


Armin Aberle, Solar Energy Research Institute, Singapore
Chih-Hao Chang, North Carolina State University, United States
Vernie Everett, Australian National University, Australia
Gilles Flamant, Centre National Recherche Scientifique, France
Jesse Frantz, US Naval Research Laboratory, United States
Philip Gleckman, Areva Solar, United States
Pınar Menguc, Özyeğin Universitesi, Turkey
Yoshiaki Nakano, University of Tokyo, Japan
Peter Nitz, Fraunhofer Inst Solar Energy Systems, Germany
Ioannis Papakonstantinou, University College London, United Kingdom
Laurent Pilon, University of California Los Angeles, United States
Akiba Segal, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Elizabeth Thomsen, Australian National University, Australia
Satoshi Wada, RIKEN, Japan
Alan Weimer, University of Colorado at Boulder, United States
Yong-Hang Zhang, Arizona State University, United States
Li Zhu, Tianjin University, China
Plenary Session
Friday, 5 December
09:00 -10:00

Steven Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Physics and Molecular & Cellular Physiology at Stanford University.  His research program encompasses atomic physics, quantum electronics, energy and energy economics, and biophysics and biomedicine that tests fundamental theories in physics, the development of methods to laser cool and trap atoms, atom interferometry, and the study of polymers and biological systems at the single molecule level.  For his work developing the theory of laser cooling of atoms, he was co-recipient the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997.  From January 2009 until April 2013, Dr. Chu served as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy, being the first scientist to hold a cabinet position. 

Congress Reception
Tuesday, 2 December
University House
18:30 - 19:30

Join your fellow attendees for the Congress Reception. Enjoy delectable fare while networking. The reception is open to committee/presenting author/student and full conference attendees. Conference attendees may purchase extra tickets for their guest. (Times subject to change. Please check your Congress program)

Joint Poster Session
Wednesday, 3 December
18:30 - 20:00
Posters are an integral part of the technical program and offer a unique networking opportunity, where presenters can discuss their results one-to-one with interested parties. Each author is provided with a board on which to display the summary and results of his or her paper.

Congress Banquet
Thursday, 4 December
National Museum of Australia
19:00 - 21:00

This will be a ticketed event. 

As apart of the Congress experience, paid Full technical and Student attendees are invited to the Congress Dinner a the National Museum of Australia.  This event requires a ticket and should be checked off at the time of registration. A ticket must be presented at entry. Guest tickets may be purchased during Registration hours prior to Wednesday, 4 December.  Congress Management will be providing shuttle buses to and from the event location. The bus pickup will begin at 19:00 in the front of the Manning Clark Centre.  The last bus will depart at 19:20.  Buses will drop off and pickup in a location close to the main entrance of the museum. 

The National Museum of Australia is a social history museum. The Museum explores the land, nation and people of Australia. It focuses on Indigenous histories and cultures, histories of European settlement and our interaction with the environment.  Visit the The National Museum of Australia's website for information and details.

Policy Session
Thursday, 4 December
16:30 - 17:30
Abstracts are being sought for a special session on energy policy to be held from 16.30 – 17.30 on Thursday 4th December.  This session would immediately precede the Discussion Panel Forum on “the Future of Energy with Light” from 17.30 – 19.00.   Topics for presentation in the special policy session will include energy economics, sociology and policy aspects related to the deployment of energy technology.
The Future of Energy with Light Discussion Panel Forum
Thursday, 4 December
17:30 - 19:00
A plenary Discussion Panel Forum on “the Future of Energy with Light” will be held from 17.30 – 19.00 on Thursday 4th December.  The panel members are:
  • Professor Ken Baldwin (Director, ANU ECI - moderator)
  • Professor Steve Chu (Stanford, and former Energy Secretary to President Obama)
  • Hans-Josef Fell (architect of renewable energy policy in the German Parliament)
  • Professor Armin Aberle (Director, Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore)
  • Dr. Charlie Wang (CEO of Suncore, China)
  • Professor Andrew Blakers (Director, Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems, ANU ECI)

The discussion panel will be followed by the Congress dinner at the National Museum of Australia – 19:00 - 21:00.

Publish in Optics Express
A special issue from OSA's Light, Energy and the Environment Congress will be published in Optics Express/Energy Express. All presenters are welcome to submit to the special issue. Submission deadline for journal articles will be 1 February 2015. More details will be posted here soon.

Best Student Presentation Awards
Two student presenters will be selected onsite to receive the Best Student Paper Award.  Judging will be conducted by members of the Program Committee attending the meeting and winners will recive a complimentary registration to the 2015 Light, Energy, and the Environment Congress in Suzhou, China.  A brief awards ceremony will be held during the Closing Ceremony of the Congress to announce the winners and present them with certificates.