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Title: Design, fabrication and characterisation of cross compound parabolic concentrators for solar power generation
Author: Al-Shidhani, Mazin
ISNI:       0000 0004 9354 1665
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2020
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Concentrating Photovoltaics (CPV) have the potential to increase the power output and reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) systems by replacing expensive PV materials with cheaper optical materials that concentrate the sunlight onto a smaller PV area. This thesis describes a detailed investigation into the design, fabrication and characterisation of Crossed Compound Parabolic Concentrators (CCPC) for photovoltaic application. A set of high-performance CCPCs, which have concentration ratios of 2.9x, 4.0x, 6.0x, 8.3x and 9.0x, respectively, were fabricated using state-of-the-art 3D printing and highly reflective thin-film mirrors. Excellent optical efficiencies from 82.0% to 84.5% were obtained using these concentrators. The angular response of the fabricated concentrators was carried out to provide robust experimental data for the design and optimisation of non-stationary CCPC solar power systems. The experimental results show that the half acceptance angle decreases as the concentration ratio increases, which agrees well with computer simulation using TracePro. The results from a novel rectangular CCPC show that the angular response of the CCPC can be significantly improved with appropriate use of the second reflection, which demonstrates the important role of multiple reflections in the design for highperformance concentrators. The uniformity of light distribution across a PV cell has a significant effect on the power output and stability of the PV cell. It is therefore crucial to ensure the uniformity on the exit aperture of the concentrator. Hence, a systematic study was carried out to determine the appropriate position of the PV cell with reference to the exit aperture of the concentrator. The results show that an optimal position exists for a given concentration ratio, although it varies for different concentration ratios. The optimal value for the concentrators that are investigated in this work ranges from 1.5 mm to 3.0 mm below the exit aperture of the concentrators. A tracking system can be employed to maximise the daily power generation in response to changing positions of the sun during the day. A calculation procedure was developed to determine the minimum tracking movements while obtaining the maximum daily energy production of a CCPC solar power system. The optimal tracking movements for the concentrators investigated in this project were determined using this procedure. The results indicate that a simple and low-cost tracking system is sufficient. Finally, a cost analysis and the potential economic benefit of the developed concentrators are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available