NGCPV: A new generation of concentrator photovoltaic cells, modules and systems
Starting on June 2011, NGCPV is the first project funded jointly between the European Commission (EC) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan to research on new generation concentration photovoltaics (CPV). The Project, through a collaborative research between seven European and nine Japanese leading research centers in the field of CPV, aims at lowering the cost of the CPV-produced photovoltaic kWh down to 5 ecents. The main objective of the project is to improve the present concentrator cell, module and system efficiency, as well as developing advanced characterization tools for CPV components and systems. As particular targets, the project aims at achieving a cell efficiency of at least 45% and a CPV module with an efficiency greater than 35%. This paper describes the R&D activities that are being carried out within the NGCPV project and summarizes some of the most relevant results that have already been attained, for instance: the manufacturing of a 44.4% world record efficiency triple junction solar cell (by Sharp Corp.) and the installation of a 50 kWp experimental CPV plant in Spain, which will be used to obtain accurate forecasts of the energy produced at system level.