CPV Power Generation Pilot Plant in Morocco Begins Operation

cpv-power-generation-plant-in-morocco

On November 10 , Sumitomo Electric held a ceremony to celebrate the completion of its megawatt-class CPV power generation plant in Ouarzazate City, the Kingdom of Morocco. The company had been working on the construction of the project facility since June based on the contract made this May with the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN).

Located in the northwestern part of the African Continent, Morocco faces the Sahara Desert in the south and its solar radiation is very high. This means that the country has a great potential for solar energy generation. In order to increase its electricity self-sufficiency by making an effective use of its rich solar energy resource, the Moroccan government intends to introduce 2,000 MW and 4,500 MW solar energy power generation facilities by 2020 and 2030 respectively.

Features of Sumitomo Electric’s CPV Systems

1.Efficient power generation system with high power output performance suitable for high temperature environments
The CPV power system uses compound semiconductor cells with very high conversion efficiency, and directly collects sunlight with the lens as it accurately tracks the sun (Fig. 1). The system boasts a conversion efficiency about twice as high as that of an ordinary crystalline silicon solar power cell (Fig. 2). Since the CPV power generation device has little temperature dependence, this system is highly advantageous in regions with high direct radiation and high air temperatures.
2.Thin and lightweight module
Sumitomo Electric has developed a thin and lightweight module (about 120 mm in thickness and about 8 kg in weight), which is among the best of the practical concentrator photovoltaic systems. The thin and lightweight module has advantages such as improved efficiency in loading for delivery and installation at the site and increase in the number of modules to be mounted on the sun tracker, thus reducing a total cost for the power generation system.

CPV power plant

System and module design

CPV output comparison

Output Comparison (based on data obtained in an in-house demonstration conducted in Morocco)

Encouraged by the successful commencement of this project, Sumitomo Electric will promote its CPV business not only in Morocco but also in other countries, in the Middle East and the rest of the world, that have high solar radiation.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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