Programme Element: ARTES 5.1
Reference nr.: 13.1TT.18
Planned Tender Issue: quarter 3, 2013
Objective: The activity is to assess whether a low concentrator solar array is capable of significantly surpassing conventional arrays, in terms of cost and possibly mass, based on thin III-V solar cell assembly.
Targeted Improvements: Significant reduction in cost for same power.
The cost of a solar generator is dominated by that of high efficiency GaAs based cells. By using concentrators, fewer cells could be used to deliver the same power. Low-level concentration can be achieved by means of large panel sized reflectors, positioned either side of a standard array panel, forming a trough. In the near future, high performance conventional arrays are anticipated, equipped with very efficient thin GaAs cells. It is against the predicted performances of such designs that concentrator concepts will have to be compared.
Several European array manufacturers offer arrays with lateral panels. These could be modified, to form a trough. These concentrator panels will be characterised by a reflective surface that allows to concentrate the sun light on the central panels, assembled with solar cells.
State of the art materials in conjunction with innovative design solutions, may ensure stable performance of the concentrator concept.
- Devise preliminary design to achieve 50 to 100 % concentration.
- Investigate application of state of the art and 20 ?m III-V solar cells.
- Select suitable materials: substrate, reflectors, thermal insulation.
- Address analysis tools and test issues.
- Derive optimal design w.r.t. power, mass, cost.
- Manufacture a small scale breadboard.
- Define preliminary tests to quantify key characteristics.
- Perform characterisation tests.