Multiphysics modelling and experimental validation of high concentration photovoltaic modules

Marios Theristis, Eduardo F. Fernández, Mike Sumner, Tadhg O'Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
131 Downloads (Pure)


High concentration photovoltaics, equipped with high efficiency multijunction solar cells, have great potential in achieving cost-effective and clean electricity generation at utility scale. Such systems are more complex compared to conventional photovoltaics because of the multiphysics effect that is present. Modelling the power output of such systems is therefore crucial for their further market penetration. Following this line, a multiphysics modelling procedure for high concentration photovoltaics is presented in this work. It combines an open source spectral model, a single diode electrical model and a three-dimensional finite element thermal model. In order to validate the models and the multiphysics modelling procedure against actual data, an outdoor experimental campaign was conducted in Albuquerque, New Mexico using a high concentration photovoltaic monomodule that is thoroughly described in terms of its geometry and materials. The experimental results were in good agreement (within 2.7%) with the predicted maximum power point. This multiphysics approach is relatively more complex when compared to empirical models, but besides the overall performance prediction it can also provide better understanding of the physics involved in the conversion of solar irradiance into electricity. It can therefore be used for the design and optimisation of high concentration photovoltaic modules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-134
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Early online date27 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


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