Electro-optical study of a ×1024 concentrator photovoltaic system


  • This article was published online on 27 August 2012. An error was subsequently identified where Equation (5) was shown as Equation (4). This notice is included in the online and print versions to indicate that both have been corrected 6 December 2014.


Concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems are one of the most promising technologies for future energy supply. Several studies reported the interest of using a Fresnel lens coupled with a secondary optical element in such a system. For high concentration factor, the optimization of the optical configuration plays a key role regarding electrical performances. On the other hand, the thermal management of the solar cell is also critical to ensure a better module efficiency. This paper presents a study of a ×1024 CPV system performances and a methodology for estimating the optical chain efficiency, the cell temperature impact and the alignment requirements. Module efficiencies were then measured as a function of the cell temperature and correlated to optical performances through current-tension characterizations under real solar illumination conditions and the estimation of the power density received by the solar cell. The system yield was up to 27% for a cell temperature around 30 °C, confirming that high concentration ratio should be of great interest in the near future. A 1D model was also developed in order to quantify the possible improvements of this CPV system. Using a solar cell with an efficiency of 36.7% at ×600, we then demonstrated that the ×1024 CPV system could reach up to 30% in standard test conditions. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.