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drees
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CPV at $0.05 / kWh

Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:40 am

http://news.pv-insider.com/concentrated ... owatt-hour

Cogenra has developed a new concentrated photovoltaic solar receiver, called the T14, which can reportedly achieve a system cost of 50 cents per watt. It achieves a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) — cost of electricity with everything factored in — up to 20% lower than conventional PV systems.

5c/kWh is competitive even in the wholesale market. I do wonder if that includes the value of the waste heat that can be reclaimed from the CPV or not? Using 10% less land than PV is always good, too.

If they will actually be pulling this off, combined with some storage it could make a huge dent in fossil fuel consumption.
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JeremyW
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Re: CPV at $0.05 / kWh

Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:23 am

5c/kWh... you mean $50/MWh? ;) A lot of what's being installed on the utility side right now is PV since it seems to be cheaper and no water rights are needed (except a bit to wash the panels occasionally) which is a HUGE DEAL in the desert environments. I like CSP though, because it leads to easier storage, you just need a giant thermos with hot salt in it.

Edit: Was thinking of CSP or concentrated solar power (thermal solar), not CPV or concentrated photovoltaic.... Of course the article is about combining the two..
Last edited by JeremyW on Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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drees
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Re: CPV at $0.05 / kWh

Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:51 am

JeremyW wrote:5c/kWh... you mean $50/MWh? ;)

Yep. :)
JeremyW wrote:A lot of what's being installed on the utility side right now is PV since it seems to be cheaper and no water rights are needed (except a bit to wash the panels occasionally) which is a HUGE DEAL in the desert environments. I like CPV though, because it leads to easier storage, you just need a giant thermos with hot salt in it.

Well, to use the heat from CPV to generate electricity effectively, you probably need to heat it up more, probably with natural gas, unless you can use the low-grade heat for other processes.

Otherwise, CPV tends to have the same benefits of regular PV. Complexity tends to be slightly higher, but because they can use less silicon (but usually use higher efficiency silicon), they are able to get the cost per watt lower.
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Re: CPV at $0.05 / kWh

Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:22 pm

drees wrote:Well, to use the heat from CPV to generate electricity effectively, you probably need to heat it up more, probably with natural gas, unless you can use the low-grade heat for other processes.

Not sure how hot these cells will run or how low of input heat you would need to drive a steam turbine. CSP runs around 400c. Traditional silicon wouldn't work at those temperatures (the band gap would get too low, not able to convert visible light to electricity), you'd have to work with something like silicon carbide. I want to do more research into that...
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Re: CPV at $0.05 / kWh

Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:12 pm

Interesting. My concern would be how good a job the cooling system does, how well the cells hold up over the long term, and what kind of extra O&M costs does the cooling system add? I started off in the AE business selling used modules off the decommissioned Carrizo Plain solar site. The Arco Tri/Quad-Lams, so-called because they were sold in groups of three or four depending on how degraded they were (to be wired in series to charge 12V batteries), had been used with concentrators and had suffered a much greater % loss of original output than the 16-2000 and M51 modules that weren't used with concentrators. This % loss seemed to go well beyond what would have been expected due to the extra heat absorption that was presumably caused by the browning of the anti-reflective coatings on the modules that were used with concentrators.
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