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U.S. testing HCPV technology at Edwards Air Force Base

The capabilities of high-concentration photovoltaics technology will be tested at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where a 200-kilowatt solar power field of this type is going to rise.

The solar field will include a dozen commercial-scale dual-axis HCPV units manufactured by Semprius, Inc. of Durham North Carolina. The HCPV units will have the ability to track the course of the sun, maximizing energy production. The project will also include a 200-kilowatt lithium-ion battery unit.

Semprius’ HCPV modules work much the same as traditional PV modules, except that they use optics to concentrate the sun onto solar cells that do not cover the entire module area. The concentration factor allows for a reduction in the amount of semiconductor material, lowering the cost of module production without sacrificing conversion efficiency.

Semprius’ modules are said to have reached a record-breaking 33.9 percent conversion efficiency. The company officially opened their first production facility on September 26 of this year in Henderson, North Carolina.

The project at Edwards Air Force Base will allow the Department of Defense to determine the feasibility of using the technology in more of its facilities.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne was awarded approximately $2.3 million to design and develop the installation. The company will perform field layout, systems integration, energy storage integration and lead development and testing of the HCPV and storage hardware. – EcoSeed Staff



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