Photovoltaic energy source is a must in the green sector. Italy is pushing the creation of a National Industry able to produce high technology solutions to obtain solar energy at grid parity cost (similar cost with respect to conventional energy sources). Concentrated PhotoVoltaic (CPV) seems to be the right choice because, in this sector, the low energy cost is reached through technology innovation and then high performances, and not only by decreasing the manufacturing costs. The aim of the SCOOP project is to create in Italy an integration amongst different industrial and research centers, to develop a complete CPV product, starting from components (like solar cells), ending in the whole system and its certification.
What we have done
In the frame of high efficiency solar cells for CPV systems, CESI developed triple junction solar cells InGaP/GaAs/Ge whose efficiency is higher than 38% (AM1,5D) when the light incident on them is concentrated with a factor of 1000. Furthermore, CESI developed single junction GaAs and InGaP solar cells for spectrum splitting systems, to fully exploit the sun radiation. CESI is involved also in the definition of standards for the characterization of III-V solar cells for concentration and, with its laboratories, will help the team to certificate CPV components and systems.
The output of SCOOP project is the realization of 4 CPV prototypes ready to be industrialized. These prototypes are aimed to demonstrate their performances and reliability to reach the grid parity by 2015. Very important to outline is that they will use Italian technology in all their parts. CESI solar cells will be used in 2 out of 4 CPV prototypes. The other two, characterized by a low concentration factor, will use Silicon solar cells developed by ENEA and STM.