JX Crystals

Test Sites And Testing of 3-Sun Mirror Modules

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Courtesy of JX Crystals

ABSTRACT
The demand for solar photovoltaic cells and modules has far outstripped PV cell supply and module prices are rising. To solve this problem. JX Crystals is developing a 3-sun mirror module that uses 1/3 the cell area to triple module production at a lower cost. Our concentrator module design uses existing planar cells. We simply cut standard SunPower A300 cells into thirds. In addition, our module design uses standard circuit lamination procedures and equipment. However, we add a thin aluminum sheet at the back of the laminated circuit for heat spreading. While a standard planar module contains rows of pseudo square cells, our low concentration modules consist of rows of third-cells. We then locate linear mirrors with triangular cross sections between the cell rows. The mirror facets deflect the sun's rays down to the cell rows (patent pending). Herein, we report on the design configurations, present photographs of the test systems, and present the initial outdoor test results.

Mirror Module Concept
The cost of high purity silicon feedstock today is well over S50 / kg whereas the cost of aluminum is only about $2 / kg. Crystal growth adds more cost to the silicon solar cells. Therefore, substituting aluminum mirrors for single crystal cell area can dramatically reduce the cost of a module. This reasoning leads us to the 3-sun module concept shown in figure 1.

Our concentrator module design uses existing planar cells. As shown in figure 2, we simply cut standard 125mm x 125mm SunPower A300 cells into thirds. In addition, our module design uses standard circuit lamination procedures and equipment. However, as shown in figure 3. we add a thin aluminum sheet at the back of the laminated circuit for heat spreading. While a standard planar module contains rows of 125mm x 125mm cells, our low concentration modules consist of rows of third-cells with each row now 41.7 mm wide. We then locate linear mirrors with triangular cross sections between the cell rows (figure 1). The mirror facets deflect the sun's rays down to the cell rows.

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