Transient thermal-electrical performance modelling of solar concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) receiver

Ali O. M. Maka, Tadhg S. O'Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


The cell efficiency of a solar CPV system can be enhanced by the dissipation of the thermal load from the receiver assembly. The performance of the solar cell is influenced by the incident light and cell operating temperature. In this study, a triple-junction solar cell, under a concentration ratio of 500x and cell dynamic efficiency, is considered for a wide range of operating temperatures (25-80 °C). The key purpose of this work is to simulate both transient and steady-state operating conditions, based on the temperature-dependent conversion efficiency. In this study, a transient model has been developed using COMSOL Multiphysics®. A live-link technique of COMSOL with MATLAB® is used to couple of successive thermal and electrical steady-state models for a fixed timestep. The performance behaviour of electrical parameters J sc, V oc, P, FF and P max are investigated. The results show that a dynamical efficiency, compared with constant efficiency and integrated error, was approximately 12%. The cell cycle steady-state temperature occurs at a maximum cell temperature of 78.4 °C within 30 s at the convective heat transfer coefficient h conv = 1400 W/m 2 K and 500x of concentration ratio. Thus, steady-state cell temperature and time to reach it significantly dependence on the values of the environmental parameters of DNI, AM and T amb. Therefore, we can determine the thermal response of h conv to keep the value of T cell ≤ 80 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897-907
Number of pages11
JournalSolar Energy
Early online date16 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2020


  • Cell temperature
  • Concentrating photovoltaic receiver
  • Conversion efficiency
  • Steady-state condition
  • Transient model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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