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Effect of Solar Concentrator on the Electrical Output and Performance Efficiency of Crystalline Photovoltaic (PV) Cell
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Volume 5, 2018
Issue 3 (June)
Pages: 36-43   |   Vol. 5, No. 3, June 2018   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 24   Since Sep. 13, 2018 Views: 929   Since Sep. 13, 2018
Rufus Chigozie Nwankwo, Department of Physical Sciences, Edwin Clark University, Kiagbodo, Nigeria.
Paschal Ikenna Enyinna, Department of Physics, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Over the years, much effort has been made to improve the electrical output and performance efficiency of crystalline photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. In this paper, ways to improve the electrical output and efficiency of solar cells through increase in solar radiation capture have been explored. First, we have examined what effect increasing light intensity progressively in steps has on the electrical output of the PV cell without coupling a concentrator to the cell. The cell is illuminated using radiation from a filament lamp, which is connected to a variable dc energy source to help to progressively vary the percentage intensity of light from the filament. Second, a concentrator (convex lens of short focal length) is coupled to the cell and the intensity of light from the filament is fixed at 20% level of intensity to determine if concentrator-coupling could result in much higher intensity and output. Third, the PV cell is kept at different positions along the principal axis of the lens (the concentrator) to investigate the effect of the PV cell-positioning on its electrical output performance. From the results of our analysis, it is found that increase in intensity of incident light radiation leads to increase in output current and power of PV cells and that the use of a concentrator practically gives better results. The cell gives current outputs of 0.02A, 0.04A, 0.05A, 0.07A, 0.09A, 0.10A and power outputs of 0.12W, 0.28W, 0.40W, 0.63W, 0.90W, and 1.10W at 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, 100% and 120% variations of intensity respectively without a concentrator. With a concentrator coupled to the cell and the light from the filament fixed at 20% intensity, the cell gives an output current of 0.04A and output power of 0.424W compared to the output current of 0.02A and output power of 0.12W obtained from the cell at the same 20% level of intensity without a concentrator. The highest output from the cell at the 20% fixed intensity is found to occur at a distance of 20cm of the PV cell from the lens corresponding to the lens’ focal point, F. Thus, when a PV cell is coupled to a concentrator (a convex lens of short focal length or any other concentrating device) with the cell positioned at the concentrator’s focal point, the electrical output and performance efficiency of the cell can be appreciably improved.
Crystalline, Photovoltaic, Cell, Light, Intensity, Concentrator
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