JDSU Debuts CPV Cell Technology
MILPITAS, Calif., Sept. 2, 2010 — Optical communications and test and measurement products provider JDSU announced its entry into the solar photovoltaic market on Wednesday with a new concentrator solar cell product that converts up to 40 percent of light energy into electrical energy.
CPV installations consist of arrays of concentrating optics that focus and converge sunlight onto solar cells. Unlike the cells used in solar panels, the JDSU concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) cells are multilayered to make use of the full spectrum of light, the company said. The CPV cells are specifically designed to capture concentrated sunlight at 500 to 1000 times its original power. Additional benefits include a small footprint, improved temperature performance, less use of semiconductor materials, and lower cost per kilowatt compared to other photovoltaic technologies, according to JDSU.
Concentrated photovoltaics is a cost-effective technology that is emerging as one of the ideal solutions for solar power generation. CPV installations in the US are expected to grow from $70 million in 2010 to $3 billion in 2015 (CPV Industry Report 2010).
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 kW to 10 MW range, compared to residential rooftop housing market installations that use about 5 kW per home.
JDSU said it has an advantage over smaller startup companies in that it can make CPV cells in high volumes with tightly controlled processes due to its experience in the semiconductor and optical industries. It is working with solar system integrators that will use its CPV cells in solar modules installed at power generation facilities worldwide.
"Electrical power needs will skyrocket over the next 20 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."
For more information and to view videos about the technology, visit: www.jdsu.tv