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Project CONCENTRPV 2016

Solar concentrating photovoltaic

Power System Research

2016-2016

Salvatore Guastella

The report describes the activities for the growth of multi-junction cell with innovative and low-cost methods, the creation of SiGeSn layers with MOCVD, the optimization of post-growth processes of highly concentrated MJ cells, as well as anti-reflective coatings. The optimization of a compact CPV module and the validation of the innovative MPPT algorithm for the inverter and the solar tracking sensor are illustrated. Finally, the enhancement of the Helios database of direct solar radiation at various national sites is presented.

This report briefly describes the research activities carried out in 2016 as part of the three-year "Photovoltaic concentration solar project" (2015-2017).

The project aims to contribute in reducing the costs of concentrating photovoltaic technology (CPV) in order to make it more competitive with other energy sources, overcoming technological barriers that still limit its full penetration in the market. The research of RSE aims to develop and implement innovative technological solutions in all phases of the technological chain, starting from the growth of multijunction solar cells and the optimization of the related post-growth processes necessary to realize the complete CPV device, then coming to the photovoltaic modules and, in the end, to the important problems present in CPV systems. These technological solutions intend to contribute, also in a context of collaborations with national and international research institutes and operators, to increase the efficiency of CPV systems, improving their reliability and, therefore, reducing their production costs and maintenance.

In 2016 the development and optimization of the production process continued for the growth of the "top" sub-cell of a triple junction cell (with InGaP grown at low temperature or with the growth of InGaAsP) which can be also integrated into a cell with quadruple junction. The first realizations of SiGeSn layers adapted to cross-link the GaAs were carried out, by means of innovative dipositive processes that required modifications in the MOCVD for the growth in the same chamber of elements "contaminants" between them. The post-growth processes of MJ cells with reduced dimensions (2,4x2,4 mm2) at high concentration (up to 1000X) and with the development of anti-reflective coatings have also been developed. The development and characterization of a high-performance compact CPV module prototype continued at the same time; moreover, the innovative MPPT algorithm for inverters connected to CPV systems and the low-cost solar tracking sensor integrated into the module were validated.

Finally, the Helios database of direct solar radiation and spectral irradiance in various national sites was periodically updated, in collaboration with the members of a specific Consortium, and a procedure for calibrating the measured spectral data was developed.


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Guastella Salvatore