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Global Concentrator Photovoltaic Market Continues to Produce Products with Higher Efficiencies – Time for it to Shine?

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Published on : Jun 23, 2016

The global market for solar power generation one of the most dynamic markets of the renewable power generation industry. The excellent pace at which innovations and highly energy efficient products are hitting the market, coupled with the significant rates at which solar cells are being installed across domestic and commercial sectors demonstrate the continuing opportunity for growth for the industry world over.

One specific solar photovoltaic technology – concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) has exhibit very impressive solar-to-electricity ratios and holds immense promise for the future of the global solar power industry. However, the technology has failed to make a mark, accounting for a rather smaller share in the overall solar PV market as compared with the conventional flat-panel PV cells.

Concentrator photovoltaic refers to the solar power generation cells that, unlike conventional PV modules, involve curved mirrors and lenses. The lenses and curved mirrors help the sunlight falling upon them to be focused upon a small, but highly efficient part of the PV cell. The field is ripe with research activities and has produced modules that are way beyond the efficiencies of conventional solar PV technologies. Certain CPV modules in the market have demonstrated efficiencies ranging up to 43%, which is the highest of all the other PV technologies presently used across the world.

CPV technology is most suitable for utility-scale solar power projects. The technology also leads to better results when employed in regions with high direct normal irradiance (DNI) values and is most prominently prescribed to regions with hot climates. CPV technology is said to be advantageous in hot climates as the output of CPV cells does not decline as radically as that of conventional PV cells such as crystalline silicon cells.

The market has witnessed turbulent times in the past few years, with many companies shutting down their businesses, some filing bankruptcy, some being taken over by major solar PV companies. Nevertheless, researchers believe that CPV has immense potential for pushing the efficiencies even further in the coming years and leading to significant improvement in a solar power generation project’s overall power generation capacity and reducing costs.