This is a 38.1-kW Integrated High Concentration Photovoltaic (IHCPV) concentrated solar power system. This system, from Amonix, features five modular HCPV panels, each rated at 8 kW DC at a direct normal irradiance of 850 W/m2. The modular design is referred to as Amonix's MegaModule™. A live image of the system is to the right. (This image is updated every 30 seconds.)
Most common PV systems are stationary flat-plate "one-sun" systems (as seen on roof-tops). "One-sun" systems are normally costly, covered in expensive solar cells, and rely upon the direct illumination of the entire surface. Unlike "one-sun" systems, "concentrator" systems use an intermediary (e.g. Fresnel lens) between the sun and the cell to focus sunlight onto a small solar cell (500) times smaller than one-sun cell area) effectively substituting inexpensive plastic lenses in place of expensive silicon solar cells.
The efficiency of any solar-electric system increases if the sun is tracked (in order to absorb the most direct normal light), and this system additionally performs sun tracking. The Amonix system is an example of a "concentrator" system. It uses a tracking (not stationary) concentration scheme by use of a proprietary hydraulically-driven tracker and by "integrating" the lens, solar cell, and solar receiver plate into a single unit.
The Amonix system at our facility has a module size of roughly 44 m2 (480 ft2). Operations are conducted automatically with remote monitoring/control. Hydraulic Drive with Closed Loop Controller is used to move the system while tracking the sun.
Power is produced from the sun using multi-junction solar cell made by Spectrolab. Spectolab holds the world record for the highest efficiency cell at over 40% for multi-junction cells. There are Circular Fresnel lenses on the MegaModules™. These lenses concentrate the sun's light on the the solar cells and the concentration ratio is 500 suns. There are 5400 lenses/cells in our five MegaModule™ system and each MegaModule™ has 1080 lenses/cells. There is a diagram of the fresnel lens with the silicon solar cell above and a picture of the high concentration solar cells.
For more information, visit the Amonix website at www.amonix.com.