‘Power Cube’ power tower receiver
This project is aims to reduce the cost of utility scale photovoltaics by developing a technology that splits sunlight into specific wavelength bands and converts each into electricity using commercially available solar cells.
- Lead organisation:
- University of NSW
- Project partners:
- Spectrolab Inc , RayGen Resources , National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
- Sydney, NSW
- Solar energy
- ARENA programme:
- Former Australian Solar Institute initiatives and programmes
- Start date:
- July 2012
Reducing the cost of solar electricity will increase its use globally.
This project aims to reduce the cost of utility scale photovoltaics by developing a technology that splits sunlight into specific wavelength bands (called spectrum splitting) and converts each separate band into electricity using commercially available triple-junction and silicon (Si) solar cells, thereby increasing the overall amount of electricity generated.
It builds on a unique Australian technology that was developed for the world’s first operational concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) power tower.
The triple-junction solar cells used in the power tower receiver are fabricated on a Germanium (Ge) substrate to ensure good crystal quality, but the downside is that some of the sunlight absorbed in the Ge is wasted as heat.
This project uses an innovative ‘power cube’ receiver to divert some of this lost energy to additional solar cells made from Si, which are relatively inexpensive to produce and potentially increase the overall amount of energy converted from the sunlight by 10 per cent.
Utility scale photovoltaics would be a step closer to commercial viability using the combination of two innovative Australian technologies: a spectrum splitting or ‘Power Cube’ receiver applied to a CPV power tower system.
Media release – 8 Dec 2014: ARENA funding leads to record solar PV efficiency
- Professor Martin Green, Project Leader, ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence, School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering
- +61 2 9385 4018