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.
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.”
Karin Schneider | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE
A simple, yet versatile, new design for chaotic oscillating circuitry inspired by prime numbers
22.05.2019 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth
20.05.2019 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...
Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells
The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
22.05.2019 | Life Sciences
22.05.2019 | Life Sciences
22.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy