Next generation three-dimensional photoelectric modules

This press release is also available in Spanish.

In December the ROBOTIKER-TECNALIA Technological Centre signed a joint Agreement with the Japanese company KYOSEMI CORPORATION for the analysis of Photoelectric Modules based on a new, vaulted-structure topology.

These new modules, providing greater captation of sunlight in 3 dimensions and a higher capacity of energy generation, form a product that is in the final phase of research and development for its mass production.

The agreement signed with ROBOTIKER-TECNALIA provides for the behaviour analysis of the new modules from KYOSEMI. Likewise the Technological Centre will analyse the stress intensity curves under different solar radiation conditions and the disadaptations that provoke various inclinations and partial shadows. This research enables the obtention of a series of conclusions that facilitate the design enhancement of the modules, at all times favouring their performance within a system formed by hundreds of modules.

Research into Photoelectric Systems

The agreement, initially a signing for one year, is a significant boost to the line of research that ROBOTIKER-TECNALIA initiated a few years ago into Intelligent Photoelectric Systems. The research involves the development of new topologies for photoelectric plants as a solution to the high losses experienced by the current photoelectric systems; above all those forming part of the urban environment.

This new topology, known as Modular Architecture, is based on the incorporation of a small electronic system into each photoelectric module in order to carry out the distributed control of the energy provided. In this way, the losses of the photoelectric systems are minimised, enabling each solar panel to operate to its maximum potential independently of the rest of the modules.

The advantage of using modular systems will be more palpable in the larger photoelectric systems connected to the grid, such as those making up the urban environment, particularly in buildings: photoelectric installations on rooftops, roofs and walls. These are more complex systems, given that they have a large number of panels and, in many cases, have the fašades and roofs with different orientations and inclinations.

Efficiency of current, monocrystalline silicon photoelectric modules - the most common ones on the market (14-17%) - is seen as low compared to other technologies. Moreover, actual photoelectric plants show overall losses of energy of about 25%. If these losses are not taken into account in the design of the system, estimates have to be made of superdimensional energy production that are greater than the real values and lead to non-operational photoelectric plants and low productivity, thus damaging the image of photoelectric energy in general.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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