Designing a concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) system in adjunct with a silicon photovoltaic panel for a solar competition car
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SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING
Solar competition cars are a very interesting research laboratory for the development of new technologies heading to their further implementation in either commercial passenger vehicles or related applications. Besides, worldwide competitions allow the spreading of such ideas where the best and experienced teams bet on innovation and leading edge technologies, in order to develop more efficient vehicles. In these vehicles, some aspects generally make the difference such as aerodynamics, shape, weight, wheels and the main solar panels. Therefore, seeking to innovate in a competitive advantage, the first Colombian solar vehicle "Primavera", competitor at the World Solar Challenge (WSC)-2013, has implemented the usage of a Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) system as a complementary solar energy module to the common silicon photovoltaic panel. By harvesting sunlight with concentrating optical devices, CPVs are capable of maximizing the allowable photovoltaic area. However, the entire CPV system weight must be less harmful than the benefit of the extra electric energy generated, which in adjunct with added manufacture and design complexity, has intervened in the fact that CPVs had never been implemented in a solar car in such a scale as the one described in this work. Design considerations, the system development process and implementation are presented in this document considering both the restrictions of the context and the interaction of the CPV system with the solar car setup. The measured data evidences the advantage of using this complementary system during the competition and the potential this technology has for further developments. © 2014 SPIE.