ABSTRACT

This chapter examines the most rapidly progressing photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) power technology. This chapter points out that material alternatives used to develop the efficiency of solar PV cells include Si and non-Si cells with crystalline, multi-crystalline and amorphous characteristics. Significant research is being carried out to improve cell efficiency using different architectures such as PERC, thin film, hybrid, dye-sensitized, optical rectenna, paper-based electronics, tandem and multi-junction, bifacial and half cells, etc. These are discussed in this chapter. Novel solar cell architecture based on the application such as solar shingle, floating PV cells, building integrated PV cells, solar trees, transparent and translucent photovoltaics, solar carports, agro-photovoltaic, etc. are also examined in this chapter. This chapter examines progress in commercial solar cells for their improvement in efficiency and power. The innovations in solar cell power monitoring and maintenance are also examined. Issues related to large-scale PV power integration with the grid are briefly considered. System cost, levelized cost of electricity and progress in solar cell efficiency for CPV are analyzed. This chapter also examines design options for solar concentrator, such as Fresnel lens, parabolic concentrator, compound parabolic concentrator, hyperboloid concentrator, dielectric totally internally reflecting concentrator and quantum dot concentrator. The status of CPV power plants, economics of power generation by micro-tracked CPV is briefly reviewed. This chapter also examines recent advances in hybrid PVT and CPVT technology. This chapter points out different classifications of CPVT and briefly evaluates the roles of spectral separation and multi-junction solar cell for the improvement of PVT and CPVT cells. CPVT cells are characterized based on concentration and temperature levels. This chapter analyzes these classifications in some details. This chapter also evaluates solar collectors for PVT and CPVT. In both PVT and CPVT, cooling of solar collectors is very important. This chapter analyzes both passive and active cooling methods and the nature of coolants used for PVT and CPVT systems. Passive cooling methods include air cooling, liquid immersion cooling, heat pipe cooling and phase change material cooling. The active cooling includes air and water cooling, ground-coupled central panel cooling, microchannel cooling and jet impingement cooling among others. The role of nanofluids in the cooling process is examined. This chapter also evaluates applications of CPVT in solar heating and cooling, desalination, and building and industrial needs among others. Finally, hybrid systems are briefly analyzed.