An innovative three-dimensional approach to static concentrators has been developed that offers increased concentration ratios with slimmer designs than previous two-dimensional static concentrator photovoltaic modules. Slimmer designs are essential for a practical static concentrator because they allow an economically viable implementation by using less material and by allowing incorporation into building structures such as roofing tiles. In this paper, the theoretical performance limits are discussed and a design is developed that achieves a concentration ratio of 3.6:1 while still capturing 90% of the annual irradiation without tracking the sun. The thermal performance of the static concentrator module is analyzed to show that any efficiency loss due to cell heating is matched by the efficiency gain due to concentration. The efficiency of the module described is predicted to be greater than that of a conventional flat plate module.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering