Concentrating photovoltaics offer a way to lower the cost of solar power. However, the existing paradigm based on precise orientation of large-area concentrator modules towards the Sun limits their deployment to large, open land areas. Here, we explore an alternate approach using high-efficiency microcell photovoltaics embedded between a pair of plastic lenslet arrays to demonstrate quasi-static concentrating photovoltaic panels <1cm thick that accomplish full-day tracking with >200x flux concentration ratio through small (<1cm) lateral translation at fixed latitude tilt. Per unit of installed land area, cosine projection loss for fixed microtracking concentrating photovoltaic panels is ultimately offset by improved ground coverage relative to their conventional dual-axis counterparts, enabling a ~1.9x increase in daily energy output that may open up a new opportunity for compact, high-efficiency concentrating photovoltaics to be installed on rooftops and other limited-space urban environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)