Performance of a concentrated photovoltaic energy system with static linear Fresnel lenses

P.J. Sonneveld, G.L.A.M. Swinkels, B.A.J. van Tuijl, H.J.J. Janssen, J.B. Campen, G.P.A. Bot

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96 Citations (Scopus)


A new type of greenhouse with linear Fresnel lenses in the cover performing as a concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system is presented. The CPV system retains all direct solar radiation, while diffuse solar radiation passes through and enters into the greenhouse cultivation system. The removal of all direct radiation will block up to 77% of the solar energy from entering the greenhouse in summer, reducing the required cooling capacity by about a factor 4. This drastically reduce the need for cooling in the summer and reduce the use of screens or lime coating to reflect or block radiation. All of the direct radiation is concentrated by a factor of 25 on a photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) module and converted to electrical and thermal (hot water) energy. The PV/T module is kept in position by a tracking system based on two electric motors and steel cables. The energy consumption of the tracking system, ca. 0.51 W m-2, is less than 2% of the generated electric power yield. A peak power of 38 W m-2 electrical output was measured at 792 W m-2 incoming radiation and a peak power of 170 W m-2 thermal output was measured at 630 W m-2 incoming radiation of. Incoming direct radiation resulted in a thermal yield of 56% and an electric yield of 11%: a combined efficiency of 67%. The annual electrical energy production of the prototype system is estimated to be 29 kW h m-2 and the thermal yield at 518 MJ m-2. The collected thermal energy can be stored and used for winter heating. The generated electrical energy can be supplied to the grid, extra cooling with a pad and fan system and/or a desalination system. The obtained results show a promising system for the lighting and temperature control of a greenhouse system and building roofs, providing simultaneous electricity and heat. It is shown that the energy contribution is sufficient for the heating demand of well-isolated greenhouses located in north European countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-442
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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