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A Road-map for R&D activities on Concentrating photovoltaics : the APOLLON Project

pubblicazioni - Articolo

A Road-map for R&D activities on Concentrating photovoltaics : the APOLLON Project

Among photovoltaic technologies, the Concentrating Photovoltaics (CPV) can play a key role in the transition toward a sustainable global energy system, owing to the possibility to reach system efficiency value even three time higher than the actual efficiency value obtained on photovoltaic systems based on the fixed flat plate technology.

So far, a large scale commercialisation of CPV systems has been hindered both by its elevated cost and lack of adequate international norms. Further, only recently, with the ISFOC Spanish experience, the CPV community has set up initiatives for supporting the industrialisation of the CPV technology. A rood map on concentrating photovoltaics should consider all these aspects to allow a strong penetration of CPV in the energy market. This is the scope of the APOLLON project, which is one of the seven large integrated projects funded by European Commission in the frame of the Seventh Framework Program (FP7) and the only one in the photovoltaics topic. APOLLON stands for Multi APprOach for high effciency and inteLLingent cONcentrating PV modules (Systems); the project will be undertaken by a multidisciplinary team of 16 partners, coming from 9 countries, to constitute in the next five years an integrated platform for advanced concentrating photovoltaics. The presentation will deal with the main objectives of APOLLON:

– ¾ to develop cost effective Point focus and Dense Array CPV systems, based on monolithic and discrete multi-junction solar cells, minimising the cost/performance ratio of all CPV key components and deepening the advantages and disadvantages of these different technical approaches, considering a full technical, environmental and economical assessment;

– ¾ to contribute in the set up of robust standards covering all aspects of CPV systems;

– ¾ to involve end-user with a technology experimental validation, aiming to gain the necessary confidence to address future plan towards a significant utilisation of the CPV technology for energy production. A road map related to the development of advanced concentrating photovoltaic will be indicated for each CPV component: from MJ solar cells to optics and intelligent solutions for accurate and reliable tracking.

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