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Performance of Solmacs, a High PV Solar Concentrator With Efficient Optics

Authors
Publication Date
Keywords
  • High Pv Concentration
  • Characterisation
  • System Performance
  • Engineering
  • Computing & Technology :: Energy [C07]
  • Ingénierie
  • Informatique & Technologie :: Energie [C07]
Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

A new solar panel with high concentration photovoltaic technology (x700) has been designed, prototyped and tested in the SOLMACS project. The quality of concentrating optics is a key factor for high module efficiency. Therefore new dedicated PMMA Fresnel lenses were studied and produced by injection molding. Lens design, material and production process were optimized to achieve a high optical yield of 86%. Thorough lens performance assessment in optical laboratory was completed with lifetime UV aging tests. Another important aspect is the thermal control of the hot spot created under the solar cell that receives the concentrated flux of 700 Suns. A dedicated heat spreader was developed to achieve passive thermal control with minimum mass and cost. This was supported by thermal models and tests at both cell and module level. 35% triple junction cells were implemented in the module. Micro-assembly technologies were used for the cell packaging and electrical connections. In support to the research, a continuous solar simulator was designed and built to assess the system performance, both at component and module level. The concentrator developments were integrated in a prototype and tested both indoor with the simulator and outdoor on the CSL solar test platform. The overall efficiency of the PV concentrator module is 28.5%.

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