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Enhancing performance of a linear dielectric based concentrating photovoltaic system using a reflective film along the edge

Baig, Hasan, Sarmah, Nabin, Chemisana, Daniel, Rosell, Joan, Mallick, Tapas K.
Energy 2014 v.73 pp. 177-191
angle of incidence, finite element analysis, models, solar cells, solar collectors
In the present study, we model and analyse the performance of a dielectric based linear concentrating photovoltaic system using ray tracing and finite element methods. The results obtained are compared with the experiments. The system under study is a linear asymmetric CPC (Compound Parabolic Concentrator) designed to operate under extreme incident angles of 0° and 55° and have a geometrical concentration ratio of 2.8×. Initial experiments showed a maximum PR (power ratio) of 2.2 compared to a non concentrating counterpart. An improvement to this has been proposed and verified by adding a reflective film along the edges of the concentrator to capture the escaping rays and minimise optical losses. The addition of the reflective film changes the incoming distribution on the solar cell. Results show an increase of 16% in the average power output while using this reflective film. On including the thermal effects it was found that the overall benefit changes to about 6% while using a reflective film. Additionally, the effects of the non-uniformity of the incoming radiation are also analysed and reported for both the cases. It is found that adding the reflective film drops the maximum power at the output by only 0.5% due to the effect of non-uniformity.