One Small Step for Concentrator Photovoltaics, One Bigger Step for SolFocus

SolFocus Concentrator Solar Photovoltaic System image

image (not of the actual Spanish project): SolFocus

While it may be big news for its developer, in the overall scheme of things, this definitely goes down in the small step category: California-based SoLFocus has announced the completion of the initial phase of the world's "first full scale concentrator photovoltaic solar power plant". How big is this world's first? The first phase is 200 kilowatts, with subsequent phases increasing its size to 500 kilowatts.

The facility is owned by the Spanish Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems (ISFOC, from its Spanish name) and, according to SolFocus is intended to demonstrate the high efficiency and cost-reduction potential of the technology. Which makes me wonder if this really is a full scale concentrator photovoltaic solar power plant. Hmmm.

Touting the project SofFocus CEO Gary Conley said, "Completing this first stage of the ISFOC project marks a major milestone for SolFocus, and for concentrator photovoltaics in general, on our way towards achieving grid parity for renewable energy."CPV Offers Higher Efficiency, But Must Be Aligned With Sun to Achieve This
The advantage of concentrator photovoltaic systems over traditional solar PV panels is that they greater conversion efficiency than regular panels, though they have to be pointed directly at the sun to be most effective, thereby requiring tracking mechanisms to keep the solar array aligned properly.

Another advantage, according of SolFocus, of their specific CPV systems is that they have "the lowest carbon footprint in manufacturing, and are over 95% recyclable."

via :: SolFocus and :: GreentechMedia
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