Solar concentrator photovoltaic collectors are able to deliver energy at higher temperatures for the same irradiances, since they are related to smaller areas for which heat losses occur. However, to ensure the system reliability, adequate collector geometry and appropriate choice of the materials used in these systems will be crucial. The present work focuses on the re-design of the Concentrating Photovoltaic system (C-PV) collector reflector presently manufactured by the company Solarus, together with an analysis based on the annual assessment of the solar irradiance in the collector. An open-source ray tracing code (Soltrace) is used to accomplish the modelling of optical systems in concentrating solar power applications. Symmetric parabolic reflector configurations are seen to improve the PV system performance when compared to the conventional structures currently used by Solarus. The parabolic geometries, using either symmetrically or asymmetrically placed receivers inside the collector, accomplished both the performance and cost-effectiveness goals: for almost the same area or costs, the new proposals for the PV system may be in some cases 70% more effective as far as energy output is concerned.
More information: https://doi.org/10.3390/en11071878 (registering DOI)