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default Mirrors and photovoltaic saturation

Post by Hairyloon on 7th September 2010, 11:16 pm

Since solar panels are expensive, I have often wondered if it is worth using mirrors to focus the energy onto the panel, thereby increasing the collection area.
Does this work, or do the panels just max out.
I expect there are different types of panels and the answer depends on which you use, and how big is your mirror.
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Post by Compostwoman on 8th September 2010, 12:04 am

Yes they do, but needs special PVs with cooling system attached.

"Normal" PV's it tends to void the warrenty
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Post by Hairyloon on 8th September 2010, 12:54 am

Compostwoman wrote:Yes they do, but needs special PVs with cooling system attached.
Special because they have a cooling system, or additionally special, and in what way?
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Post by Compostwoman on 8th September 2010, 12:58 am

Will get back to you tomorrow, am off to bed now!
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Post by Compostwoman on 8th September 2010, 10:16 am

If single crystal Si, needs to be thicker and on metal substrate ( rather than the more usual plastic, for ordinary PV arrays)

Also find other semiconductors used.

because of the heating effects from the concentrators.
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Post by Mike on 8th September 2010, 3:08 pm

Hairyloon wrote:Since solar panels are expensive, I have often wondered if it is worth using mirrors to focus the energy onto the panel, thereby increasing the collection area.
Does this work, or do the panels just max out.
I expect there are different types of panels and the answer depends on which you use, and how big is your mirror.

There are two (very different) interpretations for your question.

One refers to a "high gain" mirror situation and this is the one in things like special high temperature panels and heat dissipation matter.

The other refers to very modest light amplification, say a reflector that increases the light <3:1 and is seasonally applied so that the output of a collector in the winter at high latitudes (where a lower angle going through the atmosphere means lower light intesity) isn't less than in the summer. That shouldn't require special collectors if the collector was operating safey in the summer.

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