Abstract

The low concentrating photovoltaic (PV) system such as a 2× V-trough system can be a promising choice for enhancing the power output from conventional PV panels with the inclusion of thermal management. This system is more attractive when the reflectors are retrofitted to the stationary PV panels installed in a high aspect ratio in the north–south direction and are tracked 12 times a year manually according to preset angles, thus eliminating the need of diurnal expensive tracking. In the present analysis, a V-trough system facing exactly the south direction is considered, where the tilt angle of the PV panels’ row is kept constant at 18.34°. The system is installed on the terrace of CSIR-Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India (21.47 N, 71.15 E). The dimension of the entire PV system is 9.64m×0.55m. The V-troughs made of anodized aluminum reflectors (70% specular reflectivity) had the same dimensions. An in-house developed; experimentally validated Monte Carlo ray-trace model was used to study the effect of the angular variation of the reflectors throughout a year for the present assembly. Results of the ray trace for the optimized angles showed the maximum simulated optical efficiency to be 85.9%. The spatial distribution of solar intensity over the 0.55 m dimension of the PV panel due to the V-trough reflectors was also studied for the optimized days in periods that included solstices and equinoxes. The measured solar intensity profiles with and without the V-trough system were used to calculate the actual optical efficiencies for several sunny days in the year, and results were validated with the simulated efficiencies within an average error limit of 10%.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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