Low-Concentration Systems (LCPV)

R&D Services

Our R&D services comprise:

Solar Cell Development

Concentrator Optics Development

Receiver Development

Characterization and Analysis

Concentrating sunlight provides a neat way of reducing photovoltaic power generation costs. Lenses or mirrors are used to focus the photons onto a small semiconductor surface where they are converted into electrical energy. The semiconductor area required, which is comparatively expensive, is thus reduced by a factor of >1 to 1000.

Low-concentration systems cover the concentration range from factor >1 to 30, and medium concentration systems from factor 30 to 100. Silicon solar cells are used in these concentration ranges. We have experience of the entire value chain from the component development to the assessment of the complete system. The most important components in concentrator systems we develop are the solar cells, receivers, and concentrating optics concentrating optics, and we assess systems as a whole. Suitability for industrial applications and long-term stability are always our top priorities. We therefore develop production processes and optimize both material usage and design.

 

 

Within the field of low concentration PV systems we develop concentrator modules and systems, and offer:

  • Integration and testing of innovative new cells in concentrator modules
  • Experimental investigation of new concepts and components (e.g. secondary optics) for CPV
  • Design optimization and analysis using finite element methods (FEM) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Pilot and small production batches with automated manufacturing technology (e.g. pick & place; bonded, adhesive and soldered joints)
  • Reliability and long-term stability testing
  • Lab and field measurements

 

 

Selected Research Projects

 

Receiver and Systems for Low-Concentrating PV (LCPV)

Receiver Development

  • Receiver design focusing on optimized thermal management
  • Selection and characterization of materials
  • Component development:
    • Electrical contacting:
      electrical cell connector design and thermomechanical stability analysis using FE modeling
      producing optimized connectors for rear contact solar cells
      connecting customized solar cells using various soldering, bonding and adhesive techniques
    • Cooling and thermal connection of solar cells
    • Developing encapsulation technologies for long-term stability in outdoor use
    • Integrating bypass diodes
  • Development of production processes
  • Manufacturing prototypes

Characterization and Analysis

  • Indoor and outdoor characterization
  • Long-term outdoor measurements and yield measurement
  • Power coefficient analysis
  • Testing long-term stability by means of accelerated aging and outdoor experiments

Current Publications - Low Concentration Systems: