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Theoretical investigation considering manufacturing errors of a high concentrating photovoltaic of cassegrain design and its experimental validation

Shanks, Katie; Sarmah, Nabin; Ferrer-Rodriguez, Juan P.; Senthilarasu, S.; Reddy, K.S.; Fernández, Eduardo F.; Mallick, Tapas

Authors

Katie Shanks

Nabin Sarmah

Juan P. Ferrer-Rodriguez

K.S. Reddy

Eduardo F. Fernández

Tapas Mallick



Abstract

A compact high concentrating photovoltaic module based on cassegrain optics is presented; consisting of a primary parabolic reflector, secondary inverse parabolic reflector and a third stage homogeniser. The effect of parabolic curvatures, reflector separation distance and the homogeniser’s height and width on the acceptance angle has been investigated for optimisation. Simulated optical efficiencies of 84.82–81.89% over a range of ±1° tracking error and 55.49% at a tracking error of ±1.5° were obtained. The final singular module measures 169 mm in height and 230 mm in width (not including structural components such as cover glass). The primary reflector dish has a focal length of 200 mm and is a focal with the secondary inverse reflector which has a focal length of 70 mm. The transparent homogenising optic has a height of 70 mm, an entry aperture of 30 × 30 mm and an output aperture of 10 × 10 mm to match the solar cell. This study includes an analysis of the optical efficiency, acceptance angle, irradiance distribution and component errors for this type of concentrator. In particular material stability and the surface error of the homogeniser proved to be detrimental in theoretical and experimental testing – reducing the optical efficiency to ∼40%. This study proves the importance of material choice and simulating optical surface quality, not simply assuming ideal conditions. In the experimental testing, the acceptance angle followed simulation results as did the optical efficiency of the primary and secondary reflectors. The optical efficiency of the system against increasing solar misalignment angles is given for the theoretical and experimental work carried out.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 24, 2016
Online Publication Date Mar 9, 2016
Publication Date 2016-06
Deposit Date Mar 14, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2023
Print ISSN 0038-092X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 131
Pages 235-245
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2016.02.050
Keywords Concentrator photovoltaics, Optics, Ray trace simulation, Experimental testing

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