High-concentration planar microtracking photovoltaic system exceeding 30% efficiency

Jared S Price, Alex J Grede, Baoming Wang, Michael V Lipski, Brent Fisher, Kyu-Tae Lee, Junwen He, Gregory S Brulo, Xiaokun Ma, Scott Burroughs, Christopher D Rahn, Ralph G Nuzzo, John A Rogers, Noel C Giebink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Prospects for concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) power are growing as the market increasingly values high power conversion efficiency to leverage now-dominant balance of system and soft costs. This trend is particularly acute for rooftop photovoltaic power, where delivering the high efficiency of traditional CPV in the form factor of a standard rooftop photovoltaic panel could be transformative. Here, we demonstrate a fully automated planar microtracking CPV system <2 cm thick that operates at fixed tilt with a microscale triple-junction solar cell at >660× concentration ratio over a 140∘ full field of view. In outdoor testing over the course of two sunny days, the system operates automatically from sunrise to sunset, outperforming a 17%-efficient commercial silicon solar cell by generating >50% more energy per unit area per day in a direct head-to-head competition. These results support the technical feasibility of planar microtracking CPV to deliver a step change in the efficiency of rooftop solar panels at a commercially relevant concentration ratio.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17113
JournalNature Energy
Volume2
StatePublished - Jul 17 2017

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