2 December 2010

OPEL’s new CPV panel improves efficiency, reliability and manufacturing cost

OPEL Solar Inc of Shelton, CT, USA and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which makes high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) panels (as well as both roof- and ground-based solar trackers for mounting them), recently launched its latest HCPV solar panel, the Mk-IX (for shipping in spring 2011), which is designed for utility-grade grid-connected solar systems in medium-to-high solar irradiance climates.

The Mk-IX panel uses a dual-element refractive concentrator architecture, in combination with triple-junction solar cells produced by Boeing-Spectrolab. The panel’s resultant high efficiency (boosted by 20–25% over the prior generation) results in much higher power generation per unit area compared with both silicon flat-panel and thin-film installations, it is claimed.

“This new version of our successful HCPV concentrator improves performance while reducing cost,” says VP of engineering Dr Javier Berrios. “By using a more modular design, we are able to reduce overall manufacturing time, which reduces costs, while also increasing overall energy production per panel and reliability.”

The new Mk-IX concentrates light more than 600-fold. It also improves energy conversion efficiency, achieving its performance rating at an irradiance of 850W/mm2, placing it among the highest efficiencies for solar panels currently in commercial production, it is claimed.

Because of its standardized design, the Mk-IX offers increased durability and reliability. The new concentrator technology also uses a less complex, easily repeatable assembly process that can be transferred to different markets, generating more local manufacturing jobs.

“By next year, customers in North America, Europe, Asia and the Mid-East will be able take advantage of this advanced HCPV technology,” says Berrios. OPEL claims to be the leading supplier of HCPV panels throughout the European and North African markets, and is expanding rapidly in the USA.


Visit: www.opelinc.com

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