Simply put, Arzon Solar concentrator photovoltaic technology empowers the highest efficiency, highest energy density and highest performance solar electricity generator products commercially available. Arzon Solar uses robust yet inexpensive refractive optics to concentrate sunlight onto 40% – 43% high efficiency, triple junction solar cells, resulting in DC system efficiency of 31% – 32%. Compare this to 14% – 17% c-Si flat panel modules and the advantage is clear.
Arzon Solar products deliver double the power from a given amount of area compared to c-Si flat panel products. Lets take a moment to explore how Arzon Solar technology enables this incredible level of performance. First, sunlight is concentrated with a refractive Fresnel lens onto a small, high efficiency triple junction solar cell at about 1000x concentration. A triple junction solar cell is actually three solar cells constructed as a single stack linked electrically in series. This combination allows for maximum light absorption across the entire solar spectrum, resulting in cell commercially available cell efficiencies of 40%, and R&D efficiencies of 45%. This results in commercially available module efficiencies of 32%, and R&D module efficiencies of 36%. In August, 2013, Arzon Solar set a world record of 35.9% module efficiency in a test and analysis performed at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Triple junction solar cells are also less susceptible to temperature induced efficiency degradation than silicon solar cells, suffering only about 30% of the degradation experienced in silicon cells. This means Arzon Solar CPV modules perform far better in hot temperatures compared to c-Si panels.
Solar cells are packaged in a proprietary sub-assembly and integrated into a plate, an array of packaged solar cells fastened to a metallic back sheet and connected in series. Plates are held with precise alignment under a corresponding Fresnel lens parquet by a proprietary support structure. Ten plates, lenses and support structure make up a single uModule, a stand-alone 2.7 kW DC CSTC panel. Modules installed on a single dual axis tracker represent a Arzon Solar CPV System such as the uM2 or uM6.
Concentrators are optical systems and are required to be pointed at the sun all day long using dual axis tracker. However, use of a dual axis tracker results in remarkably higher energy production per rated watt versus other types of photovoltaic generation. In most CPV locations Arzon Solar products will deliver a 2500 – 2900 kWhr / kW rating, which is easily 20% – 50% higher energy output than most other commercial photovoltaic systems.
This also means the land energy density (kWhr / acre) is much higher with Arzon Solar CPV products compared to other photovoltaic generation. Findings of the 2013 NREL Land Use Report independently verified Arzon Solar CPV products as the highest land energy density of any photovoltaic technology surveyed in the United States, requiring only 2.8 acres / GWhr / yr when using Arzon Solar CPV in power plants above 20 MW. More data from the report is shown in the table below.
Arzon Solar concentrator products are highly robust and reliable. Over 70 MW DC of Arzon Solar product has been deployed globally over the last 10 years. This includes the largest CPV power plant in the USA, a 30 MW AC installation of 7700 systems in Alamosa, Colorado which has been operating as expected since commissioning in March, 2012.
The best way to get a sense for how an Arzon Solar generator works throughout the day is to watch it happen. Check out the video below to see a time lapse of two Arzon Solar 7700 units tracking all day long at our University of California at Irvine installation. If you have any further questions about Arzon Solar CPV technology or products, do not hesitate to reach out to us through our Contact page.