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Concentrated Photovoltaics

Concentrated Photovoltaics (CPV) is increasingly been recognized as the technology which holds the greatest promise in meeting the energy challenges facing the world.

A concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) system converts light energy into electrical energy in the same way that conventional photovoltaic technology does. The difference in the technologies lies in the addition of an optical system that focuses a large area of sunlight onto each cell. Concentrating photovoltaics has been an established science since the 1970s, but is only now reaching commercial viability. It is the newest technology to enter the solar Sector.

CPV systems can be thought of as telescopes, trained on the suns position and feeding the concentrated light to the cell. The magnification ratio used in different CPV system designs varies so widely that three classes of systems have developed:

Low concentration (LCPV), where the magnification ratio is less than 10X

Medium concentration (MCPV), between 10X and 150X;

High concentration, where the ratio lies above 150X, but is usually less than 1000X