Device Enhanced Performance of Integrated Concentrator Photovoltaics & Thermoelectrics

Lead Participant: Iqe Plc

Abstract

Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV) are a potentially a cost-effective alternative to conventional flat-plate solar modules, due to the use of cheap plastic optics which concentrate sunlight. CPV cells have the highest photon to electricity conversion efficiency (46%) which can be further improved under optical concentration. The small size of standard CPV cells (0.3-1 cm2) potentially leads to very low electricity costs. However, the CPV cell temperature needs to be cooled to optimise power generation, currently done via passive (heat sink) or active (water cooled) systems, often inefficient or complex / expensive. Thermal energy (up to 50% of the incident photon energy) can be controlled effectively with reliable solid-state thermoelectrics (TE) technology, demonstrated at proof-of-concept at Cardiff University. This collaborative project brings together manufacturers of CPV epitaxy (IQE plc) and TE modules (ETL) with proven academic expertise in manufacturing electronic CPV-TE receivers (Cardiff Univ.), and lifetime & reliability testing (Bangor Univ.). The project outcomes will be optimized theoretical designs and manufactured prototypes of novel CPV-TE receivers, lowering costs of renewable energy generation and building the UK CPV supply chain via technical innovation.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Iqe Plc, CARDIFF £144,018 £ 72,009
 

Participant

Cardiff University, United Kingdom £84,314 £ 84,314
European Thermodynamics Limited, Leicester £157,427 £ 110,199
Bangor University, United Kingdom £34,363 £ 34,363

Publications

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