CPV panels for agrivoltaics

Aug 4, 2020 02:09 PM ET
  • Swiss start-up Insolight has actually raised EUR4.6 million to bring its focusing PV module technology to commercial manufacturing. The panels have a claimed performance of 30% and power result of 160 W. Originally conceived for rootop solar, the item is currently being recommended as a fascinating alternative for agrivoltaic projects.
CPV panels for agrivoltaics
Image: Insolight

Swiss start-up Insolight-- established by 3 scientists from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne-- has actually shut a CHF5 million (EUR4.63 million) funding round from several Swiss backers including investment firm Investire and also financial providers Zürcher Kantonalbank. The Swiss Immo Lab real estate innovation company established by home mortgage firm Avobis, insurance provider GVB as well as loan provider Hypothekarbank Lenzburg was also amongst the backers in the latest funding exercise for the concentrating PV (CPV) start-up.

Insolight claimed it will certainly utilize the cash, plus EUR10 million provided by the European Union, to bring its CPV module innovation to business manufacturing.

Initially developed for roof applications, the panel is currently being recommended by Insolight as an intriguing alternative for agrivoltaic projects.


" Our preliminary objective is to give the same LCOE [levelized cost of energy] as other agrivoltaics remedies while supplying additional farming advantages," Insolight CEO Laurent Coulot informed pv magazine. "The price is forecasted to be listed below $0.35/ Wp [EUR0.297] for [a] 100 MWp scenario."

With Insolight recently exposing module manufacturing would be contracted out, Coulot added: "The modules are presently generated in various places throughout Europe. We are currently establishing the production of the first 1,000 systems for pilot functions, with commercial companions."

The product spec states the CPV panel has a 30% efficiency and also power outcome of 160 W at conventional conditions of 25 levels Celsius as well as 1,000 W/m2 irradiance. The product can supposedly operate with optimal system voltage of 500 V and at temperature levels varying from -40 to 85 degrees Celsius. The 1,141 x595x50mm module considers 20 kg as well as, according to its developer, is as simple to set up as conventional photovoltaic panels. Its port is MC4-compatible and its junction box has an IP 67 rating.

Tiny cells

The panel relies upon pricey III-V multi-junction solar cells from an unrevealed producer. The cells cover just 0.5% of the panel surface area and also are covered with protective glass as well as optical lenses to concentrate as well as direct sunlight onto them at around 100 times the intensity of typical solar glass. The cells are reportedly able to track the sunlight through horizontal motion, with the firm stating: "Horizontal activities of a couple of millimeters per day keep the cells lined up with the beams."

The firm included: "Insolight intends to sell [the] first modules to big solar power corporates for application in agrivoltaics. There is a special possibility for high efficiency and translucent modules to create both solar electrical power as well as crops on the land, whether released on areas or greenhouses."

The EUR10 million give awarded Insolight by the EU came as part of the bloc's Hyperion project to sustainably refurbish historical locations.

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