NGCPV: A new generation of concentrator photovoltaic cells, modules and systems
Starting on June 2011, NGCPV has been the first coordinated project between the European Commission and Japanese NEDO in order to advance in the science and technology of concentrator photovoltaics (CPV). Research has covered all relevant areas in CPV, from solar cells to complete systems, including multijunction solar cells, novel solar cell concepts utilizing nanostructures, advanced optics and modules, thermal management, reliability and modeling at all the stages of the CPV chain, rating and round robin schemes and the development of characterization tools for cells, modules and systems (outdoor and indoor). Ending in November 2014, the NGCPV project has attained some remarkable results, such as the manufacturing of a 44.4% world record efficiency triple junction solar cell (by Sharp Corp.) and the development of a 15 kW CPV system (by Daido, BSQ and UPM) with a DC efficiency of 28% under CSOC, which is the highest reported in the world at system level. In this paper we summarize these and other relevant results concerning project activities such as the investigation of novel buffers for growing III-V materials on silicon, novel ~1eV materials for manufacturing quad-junction solar cells, the development of accurate models to forecast the electricity production in CPV plants and novel advanced optical designs for CPV modules, among others.