Electrical and Computer Engineering Publications

Model of loss mechanisms for low optical concentration on solar photovoltaic arrays with planar reflectors

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date





40th ASES National Solar Conference 2011, SOLAR 2011

First Page


Last Page



The use of low optical concentration with planar reflectors represents a relatively simple method for improving solar photovoltaic (PV) specific efficiency. A coupled optical and thermal model was developed to determine the effects on yearly performance of a planar concentrator on array-scale solar PV installations. This model accounts for i) thermal, ii) angle of incidence, iii) reflectivity, and iv) string mismatch loss mechanisms in order to enable informed design of low optical concentration systems. A case study in Canada is presented using the model and the simulation results show that a planar reflector system installed on a traditional crystalline silicon-based PV farm can produce increases in electrical yield from 23-34% compared to a traditional optimized system and thus represents a potential method of achieving practical gains in PV system yield. Copyright© (2011) by the American Solar Energy Society.

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