Sunday, September 19, 2010

Concentrating photovoltaics (CPV)

Concentrating photovoltaic systems use a large area of lenses or mirrors to focus sunlight on a small area of photovoltaic cells.High concentration means a hundred or more times direct sunlight is focused when compared with crystalline silicon panels. Most commercial producers are developing systems that concentrate between 400 and 1000 suns.

All concentration systems need a one axis or more often two axis tracking system for high precision, since
most systems only use direct sunlight and need to aim at the sun with errors of less than 3 degrees. The primary attraction of CPV systems is their reduced usage of semiconducting material which is expensive and currently in short supply.

Additionally, increasing the concentration ratio improves the performance of high efficiency photovoltaic cells. Despite the advantages of CPV technologies their application has been limited by the costs of focusing, sun tracking and cooling equipment. On October 25, 2006, the Australian federal government and the Victorian state government together with photovoltaic technology company Solar Systems announced a project using this technology, Solar power station in Victoria, planned to come online in 2008 and be completed by 2013. This plant, at 154 MW, would be ten times larger than the largest current photovoltaic plant in the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment