Energy Harvest Potential of Flexible Photovoltaics on Curved Surfaces Conference Paper uri icon

abstract

  • © 2019 IEEE. This work proposes a simplified mathematical approach to modeling the performance of photovoltaics on curved surfaces. Advancements in solar materials have made possible the ability to apply photovoltaic material on curved surfaces. This non-planar arrangement leads to complications since there is no-longer uniform insolation or cell temperature. Hence, a model is needed to be able to evaluate the performance of the PV system. This paper presents a method to model a non-planar PV surface and calculate the theoretical energy collection potential and power profile. The technique is demonstrated by application to two curved surfaces both having the same two-dimensional projection (footprint). The results suggest that curved surfaces are able to increase the collection ability compared to a flat plate of the equivalent footprint by over 50%. Additionally, the harvest profiles of curved surfaces are found to produce multiple peaks over the day to broaden the generation profile curve by boosting the morning and afternoon shoulders of the generation curve. Since the harvest profile directly correlates to the surface geometry, it stands to reason that curved photovoltaics can be designed geometrically for specific applications like extended energy collection or maximum power output at certain times.

author list (cited authors)

  • Alpuerto, L., & Balog, R. S.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • February 2019

publisher