Luminescent solar concentrators are constituted by sheets of transparent plastic materials doped with florescent dyes. The dyes absorb part of the sunlight and concentrate it at the edges of the sheet, where small photovoltaic cells convert it to electrical energy. The device exploits the wave guide effect of the sheet that acts like an optical fibre.
The luminescent concentrators of this type can be used to build transparent photovoltaic panels with yields lower than normal silicon photovoltaic cells but with peculiar characteristics of transparency very useful in many applications. For example, in the field of building integrated photovoltaic (e.g. photovoltaic windows), in greenhouses, or to make noise barriers, shelters and many other devices where transparency is an essential feature