A radiometric method for optimizing CPV performance for site-specific irradiance conditions

Shelby Vorndran, Juan Russo, Deming Zhang, Michael Gordon, Raymond Kostuk

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

4 Scopus citations


This work outlines a design process to optimize concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) system performance based on the average irradiance characteristics of the installation site. As the geometric concentration of an optical element increases, its acceptance angle generally decreases. In locations with significant diffuse irradiance, the optical efficiency of the installed CPV system will be reduced. The exact relationship between irradiance conditions, acceptance angle, and optical efficiency is quantified with a radiometric model for two- and three-dimensional concentrating systems. Expected power output of the installation is calculated using on-site optical efficiency and global irradiance. The price of a CPV system is explored by using acceptance angle and geometric concentration to find a ratio between PV and concentrator material usage. With system cost and power output quantified, overall performance of CPV systems is discovered and compared, allowing one to choose the most effective design. The entire methodology is explored using an example that highlights the impact of site irradiance on the final design decision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgram - 38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2012
Event38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 3 2012Jun 8 2012

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Other38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX


  • CPV
  • acceptance angle
  • concentrating photovoltaic
  • design
  • diffuse
  • direct
  • geometric concentration
  • irradiance
  • optical efficiency
  • performance
  • radiometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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