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Concentrating sunlight on PV-panel.

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Posted by JeroenH on July 27, 2003, 3:36 pm
If I have a 30Wp panel and I concentrate sunlight onto it using shiny
panels, what effect would that have on:

1) The produced power level?
2) The lifespan of the panel?

I already know that it needs a tracking mechanism.

Posted by Anthony Matonak on July 27, 2003, 4:33 pm
JeroenH wrote:

Power is generally a function of illumination. Double the light that
falls on the panel and you double the power. There are other factors,
of course. One is heat. The higher the panel temperature then the less
efficient it becomes and the less power it produces for X amount of
light. Typically, if you increase the illumination you also wind up
increasing the heat so the light and power levels don't track exactly.

 From what I'm told, heat is what generally does a panel in. If it gets
too hot then you wind up melting the solder joins and such things in
the panel. Most panels also use an encapsulant that does not respond
well to elevated temperatures and will turn brown over time.

Reports are that you're generally safe at concentration levels up to
about 2X (two suns, or double the amount of light that normally falls
on the panel) as long as it's got plenty of air circulation. Anything
over this and you might want to think about cooling the panels, adding
some form of over temp protection or just accept that it's life span
will probably be compromised.


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