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The record yield is made possible with a simple trick: Since the concentrated sunlight falls on a tiny area, module manufacturers can use expensive materials, since they do not need much of it. They usually employ semiconductor compounds such as gallium, indium or germanium, which utilize solar radiation very well. Companies layers while several different semiconductor superimposed – like on a lush occupied Sandwich. The secret: Since each layer absorbs different wavelengths, the cells use a much wider spectrum of sunlight than the classic Silicon Photovoltaics. But silicon modules could open with a special coating a broader spectrum of radiation – Cambridge researchers are currently working on such a concept.
The high efficiency and low material requirements make the power of the CPV systems very low. “In regions with high solar radiation can be so today clearly produce for less than ten cents per kilowatt hour of electricity,” says bed. Prerequisite for this are good conditions for the financing of the plant. The US analysts GTM Research expect that the cost will fall even seven euro cents up, 2015. In order for the solar energy would be about as cheap as electricity from coal power plants.
However, such predictions are to be treated with caution. For as low of CPV power one day will actually be depends not only on the cost of capital and the location of the system also depends on how many modules are produced – the higher the number, the lower the production costs.
Dirk Morbitzer, managing director of consulting firm Renewable Analytics, the cost forecast holds but wrong on principle: “Depending on which sunlight and which financing conditions are recognized, it is absolutely realistic that the costs for 2015 are even drop to below seven cents.” Given the current price decline this applies, however, just as the solar system without concentrator technology, emphasizes the analyst.
Large planned CPV solar farms
After years of research, companies are now gone into series production. Which belongs to the French Soitec Group Freiburg Concentrix as is currently building in San Diego a great CPV production. In California alone, the company wants to build solar farms by 2015 with a capacity of 300 megawatts.
The fact that the plants away from home arise, is no coincidence. Because the concentrator technology only works efficiently if the solar radiation falls directly on the modules. hides the sun behind clouds, they can hardly do anything with the scattered light. Therefore, the technology especially for countries with plenty of sunshine, about the Mediterranean rim is. The established silicon photovoltaics will not displace there, since it is always cheaper CPV. A new hope for the moment so battered solar sector are the sandwich modules but. This attracts the big corporations: So Siemens has been involved in the past year on the US CPV manufacturers Semprius.