Energy harvest potential of flexible photovoltaics on curved surfaces

Lance Alpuerto, Robert Balog

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This work proposes a simplified mathematical approach to modeling the performance of photovoltaics on curved surfaces. Advancements in solar materials have made possible the ability to apply photovoltaic material on curved surfaces. This non-planar arrangement leads to complications since there is no-longer uniform insolation or cell temperature. Hence, a model is needed to be able to evaluate the performance of the PV system. This paper presents a method to model a non-planar PV surface and calculate the theoretical energy collection potential and power profile. The technique is demonstrated by application to two curved surfaces both having the same two-dimensional projection (footprint). The results suggest that curved surfaces are able to increase the collection ability compared to a flat plate of the equivalent footprint by over 50%. Additionally, the harvest profiles of curved surfaces are found to produce multiple peaks over the day to broaden the generation profile curve by boosting the morning and afternoon shoulders of the generation curve. Since the harvest profile directly correlates to the surface geometry, it stands to reason that curved photovoltaics can be designed geometrically for specific applications like extended energy collection or maximum power output at certain times.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE Texas Power and Energy Conference, TPEC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538692844
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2019
Event2019 IEEE Texas Power and Energy Conference, TPEC 2019 - College Station, United States
Duration: 7 Feb 20198 Feb 2019

Publication series

Name2019 IEEE Texas Power and Energy Conference, TPEC 2019

Conference

Conference2019 IEEE Texas Power and Energy Conference, TPEC 2019
CountryUnited States
CityCollege Station
Period7/2/198/2/19

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • building integrated PV
  • curved solar
  • energy collection
  • harvest profile
  • non-planar PV
  • Photovoltaics
  • PV modeling
  • thin-film PV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

Cite this

Alpuerto, L., & Balog, R. (2019). Energy harvest potential of flexible photovoltaics on curved surfaces. In 2019 IEEE Texas Power and Energy Conference, TPEC 2019 [8662160] (2019 IEEE Texas Power and Energy Conference, TPEC 2019). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/TPEC.2019.8662160