UNSW School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering
Concentrator photovoltaics: Optics, PV efficiency limits and niche applications for commercialisation
Katie Shanks - University of Exeter

Katie Shanks, at UNSW SPREE, 29 March 2019

Katie Shanks (42Min)

University of Exeter

Katie Shanks speaks at UNSW SPREE


The theory and current state of concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) is introduced. This includes optical design options and challenges; PV efficiency increases of CPV, and unique application examples where standard PV is unsuitable. CPV technology is still in a stage of development. There are many designs and applications where optical efficiency, acceptance angle, irradiance distribution, compactness and weight all compete for optimum performance. Examples of CPV systems designed for ultrahigh concentration (>3000X), reduced weight (using biomimicry optics) and building integration are given. Niche applications where space is restricted and aesthetic design is important show most promise for CPV to outperform standard PV and expand their impact.

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Brief Bio

Dr Katie Shanks is a visiting Post Doctoral Researcher from the University of Exeter in the UK.

Her expertise is in designing optics for concentrator photovoltaic applications and includes their development from initial concept to manufacturing and experimental validation. She is currently working on the use of novel materials, such as plastics and biomimicry surface structures, for CPV optics as well as building integrated CPV windows (optics embedded within double glazing).