International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.43, No.9, 4003-4050, 2019
Application of compound parabolic concentrators to solar photovoltaic conversion: A comprehensive review
The use of concentrating systems has been proposed as a way to reduce the cost of electrical energy from photovoltaic (PV) module. Since 1970s, different solar collector designs have been used to increase energy flux on the PV module. This study aims at providing a comprehensive review of development in the application of compound parabolic concentrators (CPCs) to solar photovoltaic conversion for the past five decades. By narrowing down the application of CPCs to electrical energy only gives a reader an opportunity to clearly understand the detail development stages, challenges, and research opportunities for further improvement. From this review, it has been found that during 1970s, all studies on the application of CPCs to solar photovoltaic conversion were mainly focused on establishing technical feasibility and cost effectiveness. Thereafter (1981-May 2018), extensive studies were carried out to resolve challenges that were observed during the establishment stage. However, it has been found that even though the power output of the PV modules with the CPC was always higher than similar modules without the CPC, the values were less than the expected (theoretical) results. This was due to optical losses, series resistance losses, non-uniform illumination effect, and high operating cell temperature effect. In addition, high cost of the PV-CPC systems and low concentration ratio of the CPCs were also the main concerns of various researchers.