MIT: “Folded” PV Array Improves Light Collection

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MIT team proposes “accordion” configuration to optimize light gathering.

A research team at MIT has used computer modelling to demonstrated that a tower equipped with PV modules set at right angles to one another can produce significantly more power than a flat-panel dual-axis tracking array with the same footprint.

Writing in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, Marco Bernardi,  Nicola Ferralis ,  Jin H. Wan,  Rachelle Villalon and Jeffrey C. Grossman describe a combination of reflectors and absorbers in a three-dimensional array that can improve conversion efficiency over a broader range of “sun hours” and low-light conditions than can flat-plate collectors alone.

The model may dramatically improve the solar efficiency of BIPV arrays on high-rise buildings.

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