Concentrator Photovoltaics: The Next Step Towards Better Solar Power

By Lauren J. Young for IEEE Spectrum:  Today’s concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technologies have shown promising potential for more efficient solar power. The latest systems are said to be capable of handling the power of a hundred suns. Yet prototypes have failed to compete with cheaper flat panel solar systems that dominate the market. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) is determined to push CPV to the next level. On 24 August, at the Clean Energy Summit, U.S. President Barack Obama and Energy Secretary Ernest Monizannounced a program called MOSAIC that will invest $24 million into CPV solar technology development.

Why can’t today’s CPV systems compete? The concentrators can only convert direct sunlight into energy, missing out on the large fraction of sunlight diffracted by clouds and the atmosphere. Manufacturing costs of concentrator apparatuses have also prevented CPV from reaching mass production.  Cont'd...

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

Joyce Dayton Corp - Solar Tracking Drive Solutions

Joyce Dayton Corp - Solar Tracking Drive Solutions

Joyce Solar Actuators are designed to precisely position smaller solar tracking equipment. Their robust and efficient DC motor (24V or 36V) keeps power consumption to a minimum. Travel speeds remain nearly constant regardless of the load. Ideal for rugged environments common to the solar industry, these cost-effective SA actuators have an IP65 protection rating. Self-locking features in the mechanism ensure that the solar actuator will hold position throughout the daily tracking cycle. Specifications: • Double clevis mounting for easy installation • Clutch for overload protection • Adjustable limit switches for flexible travel settings • Reed sensor digital feedback for accurate positioning • Duty cycle is 25% (4 min. running, 12 min. rest) • Lubricated for life