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Economic cogeneration by efficiently concentrated sunlight

Type of activity
Competitive project
Acronym
ECOSun
Funding entity
AGENCIA ESTATAL DE INVESTIGACION
Funding entity code
PCI2019-111922-2
Amount
145.500,00 €
Start date
2020-02-01
End date
2023-01-31
Keywords
Concentrator photovoltaics, cooling, injection molding, numerical simulation, parabolic trough, thermal management
Abstract
In order to regain leadership as CSP/CPV supplier in Europe and particularly in Spain, labor intensive tasks have to be substituted by high-tech knowhow.
Being this fact the main motivation, the present project titled Economic COgeneration by Efficiently COncentrated SUNlight (ECOSun) targets a
radical cost reduction of electricity and heat co-generation by means of a novel CPV-T system aiming at implementing significant developments and
improvements in the key elements.
The efforts within ECOSun project will focus on three fields:
CPV-Cell: As a novelty, a low-cost solar cell based on crystalline silicon will be designed, which can reach high efficiencies under 60 x concentration and
perform well under elevated temperatures. Due to the concentration, much less active cell area is required, which reduces specific cost. (At high
production volumes, mirrors can be acquired for 2~5 /m2, while flat-plate PV panels range from 40~70 /m2.)
Heat Sink and Thermal Management improvement: There will be relevant optimizations in these fields with respect to low-cost industrial manufacturing,
maximum service life, and highest system performance, employing Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer (CFD&HT) and system simulation
tools. Integration of the cell to the heat sink will be studied for sake of robustness/ease of application and industrial feasibility of the system.
Mirror and Support Structure: Since mirror, support structure and related assembly represent the biggest cost share in most CSP systems, a novel
approach using injection molding support elements is proposed to reach independence from metal price fluctuations and installation labor cost.
The project aims at providing relevant particular advances in each of these fields with the potential of globally demonstrating an overall system design
capable of being optimized for industrial manufacturing.
Fulfillment of ECOSuns main objective on radical cost reduction of CPV systems will be pursued through the following specific objectives:
Development of a low-cost c-Si cell for operation under concentration and at elevated temperatures
Development of an economically manufacturable and highly efficient heat sink / thermal management system to ensure optimal use of heat rejected from
cells
Development of a low-cost, easy to assemble mirror support structure based on injection molding
Demonstration of overall system design, with all elements and modules optimized for industrial manufacturing
Building on the experiences gathered from different projects, ECOSun consortium will carry out an intensive activity involving low-cost innovative material
development, numerical modelling using sophisticated simulation tools, experimental validation, and industrial process manufacturing, so as to bring a
promising technology beyond the Technology Readiness Level of 5, with a great valorization potential in fields such as solar heating and cooling,
desalination and fresh water generation, building electricity supply, contributing to the leading position of Spain in CSP and PV sectors.

Participants