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A Novel Lens-walled Compound Parabolic Concentrator (Lens-walled CPC) PV/Thermal System

Final Report Summary - LENS-WALLED CPC (A novel lens-walled compound parabolic concentrator PV / thermal system)

The project aims to develop a novel Lens-walled compound parabolic concentrator photovoltaic (PV) / thermal system (CPC) for building-integrated applications. The sector of buildings accounts for about 40 % of the total energy consumption in the Europe. The above-mentioned system could play an important role in promoting solar energy applications in buildings, hence make a significant contribution to the European Union (EU) targeting in cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The LENS-WALLED CPC is an innovative idea and has the advantage of larger acceptance angle for solar radiation compared with a common CPC of the same geometrical concentration ratio. The lens-walled CPC PV / thermal panel, which serves as the key component in the lens-walled CPC PV / thermal system, is composed by an array of mini lens-walled CPCs to form the appearance of a flat panel. The system can reduce the quantity of PV cells by up to four times compared with common installations and have better overall electricity and thermal performance. The system is very suitable for non-tracking solar concentration PV / thermal applications in residential and commercial buildings and would have a potential large market worldwide.

For the past two years (1 May 2011 - 30 April 2013), the project activities have been conducted effectively and eleven refereed research papers have been published or submitted. Based on the research, the main results achieved are listed as follows:

(a) computer model and modelling results for the lens-walled CPC;
(b) sample lens-walled CPCs and their experimental results;
(c) computer model and modelling results of the lens-walled CPC PV / thermal system;
(d) construction of a prototype of the lens-walled CPC PV / thermal system and its testing and monitoring results;
(e) dissemination and exploitation of the project outcomes.