Modeling the Energy Yield of Microtracking CPV Technology

Solar photovoltaic(PV) performance models have been instrumental in the renewable energy sector as they can predict annual and lifetime energy yields of a given PV system and location. Current models used in the residential/rooftop scale are based on commercially available silicon solar panels. New performance models must be developed for emerging PV cell technologies as they become commercially viable over the next decade. This research project aims to develop a usable performance model for one such technology - microtracking multijunction concentrating photovoltaics (μCPV) - that has the potential to significantly increase the efficiency of rooftop solar power. Our model uses functions contained within the PV_Lib Toolbox developed by Sandia National Libraries and performance data collected by PSU researchers for a prototype μCPV cell. The model is used to assess the potential energy yield of this technology when deployed in different locations around the world. Our findings show that μCPV technology could improve energy yield in locations with a high annual fraction of direct sunlight but would fail to match the output of traditional silicon solar panels in cloudy locations where direct sunlight is reduced.

Monday Poster Session
Franz Chee
Related Conference Themes
Electricity Generation