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Industrialisation of ultra-flat concentrator module of high-efficiency ('INFLATCOM')

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Explosive market potential for commercial photovoltaic systems

The commercial aspects of photovoltaic generated electricity have been exploited for many years with varying degrees of success. Now, and following the developments of a Spanish company, these benefits are due to be realised in saving not only money but also actively reducing C02 emissions.

Energy

It is currently estimated that substituting conventional electricity generation methods with photovoltaic electricity significantly reduces carbon dioxide from being pumped into the atmosphere. The developed system therefore established its primary objective to produce 1kWp modules at a cost of just 2.8 Euro/Wp for a fully installed system. More than 35 prototype systems were built, comprising of 25% efficient Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) cells that can operate with an intensity of 1,000 suns, and with concentrators of just 10cm². The short-term developments thus far made have been with GaAs cells, which are readily available, but the future mid-term objective lies with tandem cells, already tried and tested in space. These systems are however expensive in the short-term, but because of the high concentration level (above 1000x) used, the long term prospects will ensure more cost effective operations. The company behind this latest family of photovoltaic systems believes with such efficient costs, users will soon be able to realise electrical efficiencies as only previously seen in industry. They will of course be of particular benefit to Sunbelt countries, but the mid-term objectives will be equally beneficial to southern European countries. Further, these photovoltaic systems are not just stand alone systems, they have the ability to integrate with existing grid utilities, and will be especially advantageous for remote rural areas. Thus, this advanced photovoltaic system integration should bear witness to a market sector explosion with cost-effective mass production of photovoltaic electricity.

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