Concentrating Photo-Voltaic System for DoD Rooftop Installations
The objective of this project is to demonstrate Soliant Energy's high-performance and high-efficiency Concentrating Photo-Voltaic (CPV) solar panels through the installation and operation of a 50kW SE-1000X system at the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWS) China Lake, California. These panels have the potential to produce significantly more energy than traditional solar systems from the same rooftop footprint with minimum changes to existing infrastructure. This project will demonstrate the advantages of Soliant's CPV systems in high direct normal irradiance (DNI) areas of the U.S. Southwest and provide Department of Defense (DoD) installations a cost-effective, high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) solution for many regions.
The solar array is a dual-axis tracking, concentrating, PV panel developed by Soliant Energy and will supply at least 1000 times concentration of sunlight onto triple junction (TJ) cells to produce electricity in grid-tied systems on commercial or industrial rooftops. The shape is optimized for a typical rooftop installation of traditional flat solar panels--low-aspect ratio, close to the mounting surface, and a size approximately the same as a flat solar panel. Based on proprietary product design and manufacturing, these Soliant panels will deliver a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) much lower than traditional flat plate and competitive with retail grid pricing.
Each Soliant panel includes eight 25.3% efficient solar modules and an integrated two-axis tracker and will produce electricity at parity with the statewide average retail grid price of electricity for commercial users when it enters production manufacturing in 2011. The module concentrates sunlight 1000 times onto a small but highly efficient solar cell that is passively cooled. The selected demonstration site at NAWS China Lake is an ideal location to test and demonstrate this type of system, given the area's high DNI and multiple sunny days.
Because this technology can produce up to 37% more lifetime electricity from the same investment, even lower levelized energy costs--$0.15/kWh--can be achieved without incentives. The economics of solar energy are improved by reducing technology costs and increasing system performance. Through their lower cost per kWh of energy, the technology will further overcome a significant barrier to technology adoption and can increase the total installed amount of PV at DoD locations. Technology-specific benefits include more energy output, the low cost of energy, low installation cost, maintenance-free tracking components, and low wind profile. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2013)
Points of Contact
Ms. Deborah Jelen
Energy and Water
SERDP and ESTCP
- Fact Sheet - Brief project summary with links to related documents and points of contact.
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- Cost & Performance Report - Overview of ESTCP demonstration activities, results, and conclusions, standardized to facilitate implementation decisions.
- Technical Report - Additional interim reports, laboratory reports, demonstration reports, and technology survey reports.
- Guidance - Instructional information on technical topics such as protocols and user’s guides.
- Workshop Report - Summary of workshop discussion and findings.
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