We develop high concentration photovoltaic systems that allow III-V multi-junction solar cells to be used for terrestrial applications. To do so, we analyze and assess optical components that concentrate sunlight by a factor of 300-1000 before it is turned into electrical energy in III-V multi-junction solar cells. Within the field of concentrator systems, we work to develop and refine the entire technology chain from solar cells, concentrator optics and module production through dedicated electronics to complete systems and monitoring. One key ingredient in this technology is the development of concentrator modules, which is coordinated at Fraunhofer ISE in the Concentrator Technology and Evaluation Center (ConTEC). Research at ConTEC primarily focusses on optimizing design, manufacturing processes and CPV module reliability. Our expertise in the field of thermal, optical and electrical simulation is shared with our clients, and we optimize and develop processes and innovative systems.
One illustration of thriving module development is the FLATCON® technology devised at Fraunhofer ISE, which is now being successfully commercialized by Soitec Solar. In addition, we develop alternative module concepts, such as those using mirror optics for extremely high geometric concentration. Furthermore, we are researching the cogeneration of heat and electricity in concentrating systems with the goal of reaching system efficiencies of over 70%.
A variety of experimental methods are available for characterizing CPV components.