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Stationary Solar Concentrating Photovoltaic-Thermal Collector –Cell String Layout

Fernandes, C. F. ; Torres , J.

Stationary Solar Concentrating Photovoltaic-Thermal Collector –Cell String Layout, Proc IEEE International Conference on Power Electronics and Motion Control IEEE-PEMC, varna, Bulgaria, Vol. 0, pp. 0 - 0, September, 2016.

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Abstract
The aim of this work is to design the cell string layout in stationary concentrating photovoltaic (PV) or hybrid systems (PVT) in order to minimize the effects of both the longitudinal and transversal shading inherent to concentrating collectors. In this paper it is determined the best configuration of a PV string of cells, composed by several modules, by using a simple mathematical model based on the current vs. voltage of the PV cell. The model calculates the power vs. voltage curves of different possible configurations, in order to identify the optimal one according to efficiency and reliability. The company SOLARUS manufactures PVT collectors with cell strings of 38 solar cells connected in series. Solar cells in the concentrated side of the collector are shaded due to the presence of the aluminium frame of the PVT collector. The effects of shading and non-uniform illumination are minimized by including bypass diodes. Each string has 4 modules of bridged cells, each one associated to a bypass diode. In this work, different combinations of string cells in the collector receiver have been simulated using the free circuit simulation package from Linear Technology Corporation (LTSPICE). Test results are provided by SOLARUS to validate the proposed approach. A comparative analysis is presented at the end, showing that the simulation model is an important tool to define the module configurations that achieve the best energy efficiencies of the PVT panel.