PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS: AN OVERVIEW

The U.S. is supporting an aggressive research and development program in the field of photovoltaics. The goal: to reduce the cost of solar cell arrays to a capital cost of 50found/peak watt by the year 1986. The long-term goal is to achieve 10-30found/peak watt by 1990 or 2000. The photovoltaic community is optimistic that the 1986 goal will be met with the use of silicon solar cells. The present production rates of photovoltaic arrays are close to 1 MW of production per year. The maximum expected efficiencies of 20-25 percent have already been achieved. Thus cost reduction must come about through producing cells per unit area more cheaply. A separate alternative for producing low-cost electricity from solar cells is to concentrate sunlight onto the cell, thus reducing the area of the cell per unit electrical output. Concentration systems also make available the option of using multiple cells to increase the overall conversion of sunlight to electricity. One two-cell concentration system has already demonstrated 28.5 percent efficiency.

  • Corporate Authors:

    American Society of Mechanical Engineers

    Two Park Avenue
    New York, NY  USA  10016-5990
  • Authors:
    • Backus, C E
  • Publication Date: 1980-4

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00311421
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 9 1980 12:00AM