Low cost concentrated photovoltaic energy yield analysis for Canadian and global locations (CPVEYA)
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
- Grant type: Collaborative Research and Development Grants
- Years: 2013/14 to 2014/15
- Total Funding: $95,000
University of Ottawa
Recent technological advances have reduced the cost of solar power considerably, making it competitive with fossil-based fuels across an ever increasing range of markets. In this project, the University of Ottawa's SUNLAB is combining its expertise with an emerging Canadian high-tech exporter - Toronto-based Morgan Solar Inc., a company developing next-generation solar cell products based on "Concentrated Photovoltaics" (CPV). Accurate knowledge of both the solar resource and the technology's energy yield are required to predict the energy generation of potential CPV solar installation with high certainty. An advanced energy yield model for CPV will be developed, with inputs and outputs to be verified experimentally. Using this model, the research will quantify the accuracy of low cost and low quality solar resource dataset inputs versus extensive solar datasets measured at MSI-SUNLAB solar test sites. It will also evaluate how advanced and customized components can further improve energy output, and will include the design and evaluation of an inexpensive spectral monitoring device. The outcomes of this research will allow for greater deployment with a higher energy yield certainty. This project will look at both high and modest sun resource locations, the latter being a unique study and of clear strategic importance for northern latitudes such as Canada. Recognizing the complex intersection of technology and business that derives from putting solar technology into use, the collaboration involves a group from the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management. The team will develop a financial model for the return on investment in various deployment situations. The models developed will be of interest to solar energy researchers, developers, investors, and government policy analysts around the world.