The purpose of this research is to study the effect of angle of acceptance and mechanical control system noise on the power available to a two-axis solar concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) system. The efficiency of a solar CPV system is greatly dependent on the accuracy of the tracking system because a strong focal point is needed to concentrate incident solar irradiation on the small, high efficiency cells. The objective of this study was to evaluate and quantify tracking accuracy for a performance model which would apply to similar two-axis systems. An analysis comparing CPV to traditional solar photovoltaics from an economic standpoint was conducted as well to evaluate the viability of emerging CPV technology. The research was performed using two calibrated solar radiation sensors mounted on the plane of the tracking system, normal to the sun. One sensor is held at a constant, normal angle (0 degrees) and the other is varied by a known interior angle in the range of 0 degrees to 10 degrees. This was to study the magnitude of the decrease in in irradiance as the angle deviation increases. The results show that, as the interior angle increases, the solar irradiance and thus available power available on the focal point will decrease roughly at a parabolic rate, with a sharp cutoff point at angles greater than 5 degrees. These findings have a significant impact on CPV system tracking mechanisms, which require high precision tracking in order to perform as intended.
- Performance Modeling of a Concentrating Photovoltaic Two-Axis Tracker
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