Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Concentrator Photovoltaics Shows Peak Performance – Module Efficiency Reaches 41.4 %

22.11.2018

Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV) has by far achieved the highest efficiency for the conversion of sunlight into electricity. The basis for this latest achievement lies in the special multi-junction solar cells as well as the perfect interplay between the cell and the module optics. In the EU-funded project CPVMatch, a consortium of research institutions and companies has demonstrated how to optimize both of these aspects and thus better exploit the potential of this technology. The achieved module efficiency of 41.4 % is the highest value ever measured for a photovoltaic module.

High-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) systems offer renewable electricity with the highest conversion efficiency and thus a correspondingly low use of resources especially in regions with high direct normal irradiance.


High-Concentration Photovoltaic (HCPV) Module with record high efficiency. 41.4% of the direct solar irradiation is converted into electricity.

© Fraunhofer ISE/Alexander Wekkeli

In this technology multi-junction solar cells, based on III-V compound semiconductors, are used. In these solar cells, several thin subcells are stacked on top of each other in order to convert the solar irradiance more efficiently. Optical lenses concentrate the incoming sunlight onto the miniature sized solar cells. The modules are mounted on a two-axis tracking system that follows the sun’s path during the day.

The industrial implementation of highest efficiencies for concentrator PV modules and thus the reduction of the gap between research results and industry production were the focus of the CPVMatch project. Headed by Fraunhofer ISE, a consortium of research institutes and industry partners from Germany, Italy, Spain and France have worked on new solutions over the past 3.5 years to this end.

“In CPVMatch, we have addressed all production steps for concentrator modules starting from the materials, through cell fabrication and production systems, and up to the challenges facing module manufacturing,” reports Dr. Gerald Siefer, project head and group leader of III-V Cell and Module Characterization at Fraunhofer ISE.

The project partners have achieved two major results: By using innovative cell architectures for multi-junction solar cells with new materials, processes and manufacturing equipment, the researchers were able to optimize the production of four-junction solar cells.

Also, they were able to improve the design of high-concentration modules, primarily by modifying the optics and making use of achromatic lenses. The combination of four-junction solar cells with achromatic lenses has led to the new record efficiency of 41.4 percent for a 122 cm² module.

“We are extremely pleased about these results that pave the way for further efficiency increases in the concentrator technology,” says Dr. Andreas Bett, institute director of Fraunhofer ISE. “Photovoltaics is booming worldwide, and we see great potential for this particularly efficient module technology.

It significantly decreases the use of resources for energy conversion per unit area and thus contributes to more sustainability.”

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/press-media/press-releases/2018/concentrator-ph...

Karin Schneider | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Agricultural insecticide contamination threatens U.S. surface water integrity at the national scale
06.12.2018 | Universität Koblenz-Landau

nachricht Improving hydropower through long-range drought forecasts
06.12.2018 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

New method gives microscope a boost in resolution

10.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Carnegie Mellon researchers probe hydrogen bonds using new technique

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>