High-concentration planar microtracking photovoltaic system exceeding 30% efficiency

Jared S. Price, Alex J. Grede, Baomin 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*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

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
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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