Concentrator PV systems
Posted by Solar energy guru | Filed under Solar panels & photovoltaic cells
You can benefit greatly from using concentrator PV systems. The main reason why these are so beneficial is that the concentrators will allow for you to have a decrease of solar cell materials in the PV system. When setting up a PV system the most expensive part will be the PV cells so minimizing on the cost of the parts is absolutely vital if you want the PV system to be affordable.
Since concentrator PV systems are cheaper to make they are cheaper to purchase as well. Even with less money invested in manufacturing concentrator PV systems, performance and efficiency is not compromised for the price drop. The materials used for a concentrator include various affordable materials such as metal housing units and plastic lenses. The metal housing is used to absorb solar energy in a large area and make the energy concentrate on a smaller area that contains the solar cell.
The main factor to how efficient this system will be is the concentration ratio. The higher the concentration you give the solar cell the higher the efficiency will be. Concentrator PV systems are great for exactly this reason. They are capable of increasing the amount of power put out while at the same time it is decreasing the amount of solar cells needed to absorb it.
Also, when the solar cells are absorbing concentrated light it will lead to a higher efficiency rating. The increased efficiency amount will mostly depend on the materials used to create the solar cell. Just take a look at different types of solar panels and the materials used to make them. The more expensive ones are generally more efficient and will likely be designed with multiple layers while the cheaper and less efficient ones are designed as single layer cells.
The Advantages Of Concentrator PV Systems
Now this brings us to an interesting point. Concentrator PV systems are definitely designed to be more expensive then many of the alternatives and with that comes higher quality materials and a higher efficiency rating as well. One of the reasons why concentrator PV systems can be so effective is that the concentrator can consist of multiple small cells. Keeping a high efficiency across a large area of solar cells is very difficult in comparison to keeping a high efficiency in a small area of solar cells.
So concentrator PV systems are made with a design that will offer you higher efficiency than most solar alternatives, and these systems are designed with only the highest quality parts available. On the downside, there are still some issues if you choose to go with a concentrator PV system.
The Disadvantages Of Concentrator PV Systems
There will definitely be some difficulties if you decide to use this system as the concentrators can cause some complications. It may not be a matter of the system and concentrators actually working properly but it is definitely difficult to deal with for a variety of reasons. The first and most important thing to look at is the materials required for this system. If you want to purchase the necessary concentrating optics then you will be paying a lot more than you would if you got the basic covers that are used on flat-plate solar panel systems.
In order for the concentrator PV system to reach a high enough concentration ratio it will have to be using very expensive tracking devices. Additionally, for concentrator PV systems to work properly it will require a number of complex controls that are not offered with flat-plate solar panel systems.
As it was mentioned the lens can be a rather expensive part of any concentrator PV system. A recommended lens to use with concentrator PV systems would be the Fresnel lens as it is designed to absorb incident light as efficiently as possible. There are many different lenses that will work well for one of these systems though, but they will be expensive. Also, even though many of these lenses are fairly efficient, none of them can guarantee 100% of the incident light to be absorbed. The highest efficiency for absorbing incident light will be about 95% but most lenses cannot reach this amount.
There are some other minor problems that could occur when using concentrator PV systems as well. If you are strongly consider investing in this type of system then you may want to continue reading about it. There is a lot of information available about concentrator PV systems online and you should not have any troubles finding out if this system will work for you. However, it is easy to conclude that concentrator PV systems are one of the best options available when choosing a renewable energy system for your home.