Stationary optical concentrator designs and wafer scale monolithic integration of semiconductor devices for next generation photovoltaic panels

Kim, Jung Min
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Dutta, Partha S.
Garde, Shekhar
Kane, Ravi S.
Underhill, Patrick T.
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Chemical engineering
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This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
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A major barrier in utilizing solar energy for large scale deployment is the cost of the photovoltaic (PV) systems. Several approaches have been used for the cost reduction such as by modifying PV system designs in addition to enhancing the efficiency of solar cells. Due to the high cost of materials, minimizing the use of solar cells such as in concentrator type systems is highly attractive for reducing the cost of the PV modules by focusing the incident light onto the PV cell. However concentrator PV systems (CPV) require constant tracking of the sun and hence are complex in design and expensive to operate, except in limited situations such as large scale PV power plants. It is desirable to design new concentrator type systems that do not require continuous tracking of the sun. These systems could ultimately reduce the PV system cost to a minimum while maximizing the power conversion efficiency. In this thesis we propose a simple design for a stationary concentrator photovoltaic (SCPV) system that could significantly reduce the cost of generating electricity using PV devices. Using optical ray tracing simulations, we have been able to design SCPV systems that could reduce the PV module cost by 2-10 times without compromising on the power conversion efficiency of the system.
May 2013
School of Engineering
Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection