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Research Papers

Computational Study of a Fixed Orientation Photovoltaic Compound Parabolic Concentrator

[+] Author and Article Information
William Vance

Mechanical and Materials Engineering,
Wright State University,
Dayton, OH 45435
e-mail: willmv@frontier.com

Michael Gustafson

Baker Group,
Des Moines, IA 50317

Hong Huang, James Menart

Mechanical and Materials Engineering,
Wright State University,
Dayton, OH 45435

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received June 1, 2015; final manuscript received October 24, 2016; published online November 10, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Philippe Blanc.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 139(2), 021002 (Nov 10, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-15-1164; doi: 10.1115/1.4035066 History: Received June 01, 2015; Revised October 24, 2016

The computer program called Solar_PVHFC has been modified to model a compound parabolic concentrator (CPC) that uses photovoltaic cells to produce electrical energy. This program was used to study the effects of concentration ratio, truncation height ratio, and photovoltaic cell efficiency on electrical power output and relative levelized cost of energy (LCE) of a fixed CPC photovoltaic device. Comparisons are made to fixed, conventional flat photovoltaic panels. This study indicates that CPCs can reduce the levelized cost of electrical energy produced by high efficiency, high cost photovoltaic cells, but provides no advantages for lower efficiency, lower price photovoltaic cells.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

A schematic of a photovoltaic CPC. The subscript T denotes truncated dimensions [8].

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Fig. 2

A portrayal of how a CPC panel composed of five troughs compares to a conventional flat panel

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Fig. 3

A diagram showing how radiation is decreased from what is incident on the aperture of the CPC within the acceptance angle, ICPC, to what passes through to the absorber, SCPC, and finally, to what is actually absorbed by the photovoltaic cells, Sabs

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Fig. 4

Beam radiation is resolved in to the transverse and longitudinal projections (θt and θl) on the CPC aperture

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Fig. 5

Electric output per unit area over a year for CPCs and a conventional panel using the Astronergy photovoltaic cells. The CPC geometry varies to incorporate concentration ratios of 2, 5, and 10 and truncation height ratios of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1.

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Fig. 6

Electric output per unit area over a year for CPCs and a conventional panel using the SunPower E20 photovoltaic cells. The CPC geometry is varied to incorporate concentration ratios of 2, 5, and 10 and truncation height ratios of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and1.

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Fig. 7

Electric output per unit area over a year for CPCs and a conventional panel using the SunPower X21 photovoltaic cells. The CPC geometry is varied to incorporate concentration ratios of 2, 5, and 10 and truncation height ratios of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and1.

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Fig. 8

Electric output per unit area over a year for CPCs and a conventional panel using the Spectrolab photovoltaic cells. The CPC geometry is varied to incorporate concentration ratios of 2, 5, and 10 and truncation height ratios of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1.

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Fig. 9

The difference in levelized cost of energy between CPCs and a conventional panel using the Astronergy photovoltaic cells. The CPC geometry is varied to incorporate concentration ratios of 2, 5, and 10 and truncation height ratios of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1.

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Fig. 10

The difference in levelized cost of energy between CPCs and a conventional panel using the SunPower E20 photovoltaic cells. The CPC geometry is varied to incorporate concentration ratios of 2, 5, and 10 and truncation height ratios of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1.

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Fig. 11

The difference in levelized cost of energy between CPCs and a conventional panel using the SunPower X21 photovoltaic cells. The CPC geometry is varied to incorporate concentration ratios of 2, 5, and 10 and truncation height ratios of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1.

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Fig. 12

The difference in levelized cost of energy between CPCs and a conventional panel using the Spectrolab photovoltaic cells. The CPC geometry is varied to incorporate concentration ratios of 2, 5, and 10 and truncation height ratios of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1.

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Fig. 13

LCE for the best configured (lowest LCE) CPCs along with the corresponding conventional panels for each type of photovoltaic cell. The bottom portion of the plot is a zoomed in version of the top plot; notice the different y-axes for LCE.

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Fig. 14

Electric output per unit area for the best configured (lowest LCE) CPCs along with the corresponding conventional panels for each type of photovoltaic cell

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