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Systematic design evaluation on the example of a concentrator photovoltaic module with mirror optics and passive heat dissipation

: Wiesenfarth, Maike; Gamisch, Sebastian; Jakob, Peter; Steiner, Marc; Bett, Andreas


Progress in Photovoltaics 26 (2018), No.7, pp.460-472
ISSN: 1062-7995
ISSN: 1099-159X
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie BMWi
0325750; HekMod4
Hocheffizientes Konzentratormodul mit GaSb Vierfachsolarzelle
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()
concentrator photovoltaic; mirror optic; PV module design; thermal design; optical design; benefit analysis

In the design of concentrator photovoltaic modules, numerous components need to be optimised to achieve the highest performance of the complete system while simultaneously maintaining low costs for the manufacturing processes. In this paper, we present a systematic analysis of different designs of concentrator photovoltaic modules using mirror optics to concentrate the solar radiation by a factor of 1000 with passive heat dissipation. Module designs based on 4 different arrangements for the optics are investigated: on‐axis, asymmetrical, and Cassegrain with and without tertiary optics. Each design is optimised for high thermal, optical, and electrical performance via finite element method, ray tracing, and network simulations. Concepts for manufacturing are also proposed. The 4 specific designs are evaluated and compared in a systematic benefit analysis. In this analysis, 9 criteria are defined to describe the module performance and manufacturability. To quantify the benefit of each module design, utility values—a score to provide a value to the benefit—and weighting factors are defined. With this systematic analysis, the strengths and potential for optimization are identified, and the different designs are compared. In addition, the potential for improvement is discussed surveying the different criteria.