Photovoltaics (PVs) are promising sustainable energy generators, yet the higher initial cost of PV systems compared to the conventional fossil fuel based energy systems remains a barrier to their large-scale adaptability. Concentrating solar radiation onto a smaller area by replacing expensive cell materials with cheaper optical materials can be an alternative way to reduce PV cost, but concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) yield substantially higher cell temperatures reportedly detrimental for CPV life and electrical yield. Various thermal management approaches have been adopted to mitigate the adverse effect of temperature on CPV life and performance. The potential use of thermal energy discarded in CPV thermal management systems has been traditionally overlooked. The aim of this article is to briefly review the progress in PV cells, different CPV systems, and thermal issues specific to concentration techniques and propose potential uses of thermal energy recovered from the CPV. The review finds that temperature mitigation and thermal energy recovery & utilization can be a promising pathway to improve CPV performance.
- Concentrated photovoltaic (CPV)
- Industrial processes
- Phase change materials (PCMs)
- Thermal management
- Thermals energy recovery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment