In response for increasing demand for photovoltaic systems, cell manufacturer have to increase fabrication capacity. However, this approach involves high capital expenditures and long lead times. In order to meet short term demand at minimal cost, concentration photovoltaics (CPV) shows tremendous promise.
The CPV systems may be divided into three classes that are Low Concentrated Photovoltaics (LCPV), Medium Concentrated Photovoltaics (MCPV), and High Concentrated Photovoltaics (HCPV). Low Concentration Photovoltaic (LCPV) is for system with a typical concentration ratio lower than 3X.
LCPV typically use single junction silicon solar cells, have quite simple designs and often employ concentrating optics made of plastic. It is easier and cheaper to manufacture and maintain than high concentrating systems as it does not require tracking or cooling mechanisms. LCPV systems are suitable for stand-alone applications and building integration.
One of the type of concentrating optics that used by LCPV is Fresnel lenses. Fresnel lenses are the most common option due to its low thickness and low cost. A Fresnel lens may be thought as a standard plan convex lens that has been collapsed at a number of locations into a thinner profile. The material of choice for the lens is usually acrylic plastic (PMMA), which moulds well and, when combined with ultraviolet (UV) stabilizers, has shown good weatherability
Supported by the total efficiency of LCPV is approximately reach to 29.7%, the expectation is that the replacement of the expensive PV solar cells by less expensive optical material (lenses and/or mirrors) may lead to some savings in system costs. LCPV systems offer many advantages compared to other CPV technologies. They typically only require single-axis tracking, show less sensitivity to tracking errors, are insensitive to changes in the incident spectrum, and can capture a larger fraction of the diffuse and circumsolar content. These factors, coupled with a lower perceived risk, highlight the feasibility of this technology.
In cases of Indonesia, supported by the data from Dewan Enegi Nasional, solar energy potential in Indonesia is up to 4.9 kWh/m2/day or about 10 times bigger than solar energy potential in Europe. Surely Indonesia is a place where LCPV system would be utilized as much as possible where all the resources needed by LCPV system are provided in this country that located in equator line. Furthermore, according to Presidential Regulation No. 5/2006 [Rol 2006], the opportunity of LCPV systems to become one of solar PV systems that support the national primary energy target in 2025 is really superb. So that, it is important to note that the future status of LCPV in Indonesia look promising since the need of renewable energy sources tended to increase from year to year.
Today, about 50 companies are active in the CPV technology field and almost 60% of them were founded in the last six years (Waldau 2012). In order to achieve a relevant role in the market, the cost of CPV must be lowered. It was only recently that a number of companies started to commercialize CPV system (A. W. Bett et al. 2007).
CPV power plants have also been completed in several others countries since 2010 such as US, China, Australia and South Africa. Most recent market estimates for 2011 in the 60 MW range and 90 MW range under construction in 2012, also around 70 MW in 2014. For 2015 a total number of new installations between 10 and 25 MW is estimated.
Based on an industry survey and literature, CPV system prices including installation for CPV power plants with a capacity of 10 MW were identified between €1400/kWp and €2200/kWp. The large range of prices results from the different technological concepts as well as regionally variable markets. Using extensive study on the LCOE of renewable energy system including CPV systems that published by Fraunhofer ISE, the calculations result in LCOE values for CPV power plants.
For CPV, there are still great uncertainties concerning the future market development. The analysis shows that CPV has potential for reducing the LCOE which encourages a continued development of CPV. If installations continue to grow till 2030, CPV could reach a cost ranging between €0.045/kWh and €0.075/kWh. The system prices including installation for CPV power plants would then be between €700 and €1100/kWp.
Written by: Fariz Qashidi Putra
- Horowitz A.W. Kelsey et al. A Bottom-up Cost Analysis of a Concentration PV Module. 2015. Aix-les-Baines, France
- Reis, Filipa. Development of photovoltaic system with concentration. Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.
- Fraunhofer ISE, Levelized Cost of Electricity – Renewable Energy Technologies, ise.fraunhofer.de/de/veroeffentlichungen/veroeffentlichungen-pdf-dateien/studien-und-konzeptpapiere/studie-stromgestehungskosten-erneuerbare-energien.pdf (2013).