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JDSU Unveils CPV Technology For Solar Power Generation

The firm is introducing its multi-junction solar cell technology to provide highly efficient and cost effective solutions for solar system integrators

 JDSU has announced the availability of concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) cells that are designed to capture concentrated sunlight within solar panels for electrical power generation.

The company is working with leading solar system integrators that will use its CPV cells in solar modules installed at power generation facilities worldwide.

Concentrated photovoltaics use a cost effective technology that is emerging as one of the ideal solutions for solar power generation. According to the “CPV Industry Report 2010," CPV system installations in the US will represent $70 million in 2010 and are expected to grow to more than $3 billion by 2015.

The CPV market is initially being driven by use in power plants at college campuses, shopping centers and industrial buildings that generate power in the 500 kilowatts (kW) to 10 megawatts range, compared to residential roof-top housing market installations that use about 5kW per home.

“Electrical power needs will skyrocket over the next twenty years, requiring new forms of power generation that are more efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly," said Alan Lowe, president of Communications and Commercial Optical Products at JDSU. “The CPV cell from JDSU brings a viable technology to the solar market that leverages our strong history of semiconductor experience and volume manufacturing expertise."

“Initial demonstrations of CPV technology have proven successful and now larger projects are starting to ramp," said Greg Sheppard, chief research officer at analyst firm iSuppli. “CPV installations will represent 100 megawatts in 2011 and we expect that number to grow to one gigawatt by 2015. CPV will have a particular advantage in sunny regions, such as in the desert, over other solar technologies."

JDSU CPV cells are optimized to capture different parts of the sun’s spectrum in multiple junctions, resulting in conversion efficiencies approaching 40 %, an ideal range for solar system integrators. The CPV cells are specifically designed to capture concentrated sunlight at 500 to 1,000 times its original power. Additional benefits include a small footprint, improved temperature performance, less use of semiconductor materials, and lower cost per kW compared to other photovoltaic technologies.

In addition to its new CPV technology for land installations, JDSU has been providing solar power products to the satellite industry for several decades. The firm also provides photovoltaic solutions for the digital monitoring of smart grid power plants.
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