The challenge

How would a single axis tracked solar concentrator look like, that is capable to concentrate solar radiation with a factor of 1000 on an array of multi-junction solar cells?

The invention

The RES-Concentrating Collector Module consists of a first concentrator embodied e.g. by a parabolic trough that concentrates solar radiation on a focal line and a second concentrator embodied by a light-conducting tube with a length of e.g. 700 mm. Except of a strip-shaped window on the longitudinal side, the light-conducting tube is internally mirrored. The surface of the window matches with the focal line of the parabolic trough to feed in the concentrated rays. Around the window of the light-conducting tube a prism tube is installed that refracts the concentrated rays in order to flatten the angle of incidence. The number of reflections inside the light-conducting tube therefore can be reduced to a minimum of less than 10 reflections. At one frontal end of the light-conducting tube an array of multi-junction solar cells receives the 1000-fold concentrated solar rays. By rotating the prism tube in different positions the system reacts actively on the varying angles of incidence determined by daytime and season.

The advantages

  • Highly efficient CPVT-system combining PV cells with a thermal collector
  • Gapless array of solar modules on a turning plate
  • Precise guidance of sunrays by single axis tracking, eliminating windloads
  • Industrial production of the receiver unit with high-end technology
  • Local manufacturing for the parabolic trough and the turning plate
  • Protection of the PV cells within an evacuated light-conducting glass tube.

The applications

  • Large scale generation of electricity
  • Hybrid usage of electricity and heat in a building
  • Special application in a daylight system that guides sunlight into the interior of a building
  • Combination of a sun protection and collector system