2 September 2010


JDSU debuts its CPV cell technology

Optoelectronic chip and module maker JDSU of Milpitas, CA, USA has announced the availability of concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) cells designed to capture concentrated sunlight within solar panels for electrical power generation. The firm says that it is working with leading solar system integrators that will use its CPV cells in solar modules installed at power generation facilities worldwide.

JDSU says that CPV is a cost-effective technology that is emerging as a solution for solar power generation. According to the ‘CPV Industry Report 2010’, CPV system installations in the USA will be worth $70m in 2010 and are expected to grow to more than $3bn by 2015. The CPV market is initially being driven by use in power plants at college campuses, shopping centers and industrial buildings that generate power in the 500kW to 10MW range, compared to residential roof-top housing market installations that use about 5kW per home.

“Electrical power needs will skyrocket over the next 20 years, requiring new forms of power generation that are more efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly,” says Alan Lowe, president of Communications & Commercial Optical Products at JDSU. “The CPV cell from JDSU brings a viable technology to the solar market that leverages our strong history of semiconductor experience and volume manufacturing expertise,” he adds.

“Initial demonstrations of CPV technology have proven successful and now larger projects are starting to ramp,” says Greg Sheppard, chief research officer at analyst firm iSuppli. “CPV installations will represent 100MW in 2011, and we expect that number to grow to 1GW by 2015,” he adds. “CPV will have a particular advantage in sunny regions, such as in the desert, over other solar technologies.”

JDSU’s CPV cells are optimized to capture different parts of the sun’s spectrum in multiple junctions, resulting in conversion efficiencies approaching 40% (an ideal range for solar system integrators). The CPV cells are designed specifically to capture concentrated sunlight at 500–1000 times its original power. Additional benefits include a small footprint, improved temperature performance, less use of semiconductor materials, and lower cost per kW compared to other photovoltaic technologies.

In addition to its new CPV technology for land installations, JDSU has been providing solar power products to the satellite industry for several decades. JDSU also provides photovoltaic solutions for the digital monitoring of smart-grid power plants.

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