Posted tagged ‘concentrating photovoltaics’

Soltec Releases New CPV Module at Solar Power International Expo

November 1, 2009

Soltec Renewable Energies has presented its new ultra-high-concentration PV (CPV) module, the SOLTEC GP-1500, at the Solar Power International Exhibition (Anaheim, Oct. 27-29). The release follows more than two years of research and development.

Soltec-GP1500According to Soltec, the main features of these modules are high efficiency, wide acceptance angle, compact size, cost effectiveness and high reliability.

The optical design, based on the well known Cassegrain reflecting telescope, uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight approximately 1500 times over triple-junction cells of the highest efficiency.

The SOLTEC GP-1500 modules have 80% more power density than conventional modules, which allows a significant reduction in the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), the company says.

Soltec expects to achieve grid-parity once multi-Megawatt production volumes are reached. Low cost optics and high module efficiency – over 25% – will make this possible.

The company is active in turn-key photovoltaic installations, providing everything from the planning stages, to EPC, finance and maintenance of the plants. It additionally may provide single or dual axis trackers, according to the project. Soltec is in the process of opening up offices in the US to serve the North American market.

Dual-Junction Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record at 32.6 Percent at 1000 suns

November 18, 2008

Via: Semiconductor Today

The III-V Semiconductors group of the Instituto de Energía Solar at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (IES-UPM) in Spain has set a new record for solar energy conversion efficiency of 32.6% for a dual-junction photovoltaic cell.

Designed and fabricated in a horizontal MOCVD reactor by IES-UPM’s III-V Semiconductors group, the lattice-matched dual-junction solar cell was independently measured at the calibration laboratory of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (FhG-ISE) in Freiburg, Germany. The 32.6% efficiency was measured under light concentration of 1026 suns (where one sun is the amount of light that typically hits the Earth on a sunny day), while at 2873 suns the efficiency is still 31.1%. 

Professor Carlos Algora, director of the group, says that the new cell is an important advance for terrestrial concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) modules, which use lenses or mirrors to focus sunlight onto the solar cells. 

Courtesy of Madri+dIES-UPM says that its new solar cell differs significantly from the previous record holder, made by Fraunhofer ISE (which, in 2000, achieved 31% at 300 suns). It adds that the importance of the new record is not only the efficiency increase of 1.6%, but also the concentration level (1026 suns versus 300 suns). As a rule of thumb, the higher the concentration, the lower the resulting price of the generated electricity. IES-UPM reckons that, after about five years of development, the cost of solar electricity from CPV systems based on this type of solar cell would be about 5.5c€/kWh, while at present the cost of electricity in Spain (generated by all available sources: nuclear, oil, coil, gas, renewable etc) is about 7.5c€/kWh.

Algora stresses that this record dual-junction solar cell represents a step towards improving the efficiency of triple-junction solar cells, for which the efficiency record of 40.8% was achieved under concentration of 300 suns by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Researchers in the IES-UPM’s III-V Semiconductors group think that integration of its dual-junction structure into a triple-junction solar cell could result in a device with efficiencies of more than 41% at 1000-sun concentration.

SolFocus Installs First Solar Array for 3 MW Spanish CPV Project

January 17, 2008

SolFocus, manufacturer of solar energy solutions including concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems and Spain‘s Institute of Concentration Photovoltaics Systems (ISFOC) announced two days ago the installation of the first CPV array in the ISFOC’s 3 MW project in Castilla-LaMancha.

isfoc-solfocus-array.jpg

 

 

SolFocus CPV Array installed at ISFOC power field in Puertollano, Spain. (Courtesy of SolFocus)

 

 

The ISFOC project is sponsored by the government of Castilla-La Mancha. Its program supports participating companies by carrying out important R&D efforts on their installed systems. This includes studies and norms, developments on measurement technology for large systems, reliability testing, maintenance, and analysis of solar radiation and energy produced.

The companies awarded the first 1.7MW phase of CPV pilot plants were Isofoton (Spain – 700kW), SolFocus (US – 500kW), and Concentrix (Germany – 500kW).

 

800_sol3g.jpgIn November 2007 a 1,3 MW second phase to complete the program was awarded to Sol3g (Spain – 400kW) and Concentración Solar La Mancha (Spain), EMCORE Corp. (US) and Arima Eco (Taiwan) – 300kW each.

 

HCPV System by Sol3g, another of the companies working in Castilla-La Mancha with ISFOC

According to Dr. Pedro Banda, Director General of the ISFOC, “This is a very important occasion as it brings the industry one step closer towards commercial deployment of CPV technologies. For this unprecedented and ambitious program, the ISFOC has selected CPV technologies that are the most advanced and have the brightest futures.” He added, “SolFocus’ first installation marks the official launch of the power-generation phase of the program.”

SolFocus, with European headquarters in Madrid and United States headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., has over 40kW of test arrays installed at various sites.

The ISFOC was established in 2006 to be a center of reference on the power, reliability and productivity of commercial CPV systems. The innovative approach taken by the ISFOC is becoming a model for similar projects under consideration around the world.