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Solar modules twice as efficient as conventional silicon

March 30th, 2008 by kalyan89 in Press Releases, Reports, PV-General, R&D reports, Uncategorized

German company Concentrix Solar has won an innovation award for its photovoltaic concentrator technology.
Source: EnvironmentalResearchWeb, Mar 13, 2008

Awarded by the Wirtschaftsclub Rhein-Main, an association of German companies, the prize recognizes the innovation of the company’s Flatcon technology. Concentrix claims the use of concentrator technology means cells achieve twice the efficiency when compared with conventional photovoltaics and gives cost savings of 10 to 20% for electric power production, depending on the location.

Concentrix says it is one of the first companies to use highly efficient solar cells for terrestrial rather than space applications. For its module construction, Concentrix uses established production engineering techniques from the areas of circuit board technology and insulating glass technology. By using highly efficient solar cells, by concentrating the sunlight and through the high precision attained when positioning the cells, Concentrix obtained module efficiencies above 26%, which is approximately double the module efficiency of conventional silicon technology.

Using the company’s technology, sunlight is optically concentrated by a factor of almost 500 onto a small, highly efficient solar cell using Fresnel lenses. Because the sunlight is focused, the modules must track the sun, making sunny regions with a high proportion of direct sunlight – such as southern Europe – the best locations for these systems.

Indeed, Concentrix has just installed 18 systems, each with a power of 5.75 kW, in Puertollano, Spain, as part of the Spanish ISFOC (Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems) project. ISFOC aims to install a range of concentrator technologies that are close to market to provide a total of up to 3 MW of power.

Concentrix Solar was founded in February 2005 as a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany. The company operates a pilot production line with a nominal production capacity of 1 MW for manufacturing the concentrator modules. Concentrix plans to put a 25 MW production line into operation by the middle of 2008 – thus steering this new photovoltaic technology towards large-scale commercial production.

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