Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Instituto de energía solar

R&D at IES

Concentrator photovoltaics

 

The high efficiencies achieved by multi-junction solar cells, at the expense of a higher price per unit area of device than conventional silicon cells, have triggered an interest in concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), which drastically reduces the area of active semiconductor needed while increases conversion efficiency. Inexpensive optics systems concentrate the incoming solar radiation to a small area where a high efficiency solar cell is located. Increasing the efficiency is a powerful driver for the cost reduction, since it implies a reduction of the system area needed for the same energy generation and therefore many of the balance of system and installation costs.

Module efficiencies close to 40% and large power plants (10 – 100 MWp) are already a reality, proving the commercial interest and maturity of the CPV technology.

The aim of this technology is a reduction of the cost of the electricity generated (in €/kWh).

This research line aims to deepen knowledge and enhance performance and maturity of CPV technology through the design, prototyping, characterization and optimization of innovative concentrator elements, systems and instrumentation.