Electrical switching & drive systems & components


maxon motors follow the sun

2nd Quarter 2010 Electrical switching & drive systems & components

The manufacture of highly efficient photo­voltaic systems is progressing. A Korean development sets a new benchmark in respect to the efficiency of the solar cell itself, and how sunlight is concentrated on the cell. Power output from these newly developed systems is claimed to be about 300% higher than regular photovoltaic cells.

Three novel elements contribute to the remarkable improvement in performance: the high-resolution, real-time tracking towards the sun, highly efficient focusing of the solar radiation prior its conversion into electrical energy, and high-concentrated, extremely efficient solar cells.

Solar tracking of the panels is accomplished with 2-axis real-time control powered by maxon drives (brushless EC-max 30 mm motors with planetary gearhead GP 42 C) with a resolution of 0,0025 mm. Only this highly accurate positioning system allows optimal optical focusing. To concentrate sunlight on the solar cells, each cell is equipped with a 250 x 250 mm Fresnel lens photo-optic condenser. This 'condenses' sunlight by a factor of 300 to 500. Eventually, below the condenser high-concentration solar cells are capable of generating up to 37 watts of electric energy – this on a surface of just one square centimetre and at an efficiency of approximately 37-40%.

maxon brushless motors with planetary gearheads ensure optimal sunlight capture on these photovoltaic cells
maxon brushless motors with planetary gearheads ensure optimal sunlight capture on these photovoltaic cells

Using this technology, self-contained systems comprising 12 modules and requiring a floor space of less than 20 m² are able to deliver 3,2 kW/h of electrical energy.



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