Non-Mechanically Moving Solar Directing System for Photovoltaic Modules
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-019
Topic Title: Non-Mechanically Moving Solar Directing System for Photovoltaic Modules
Proposal No.: N131-019-0824
Firm: Nanohmics, Inc
6201 East Oltorf St.
Suite 400
Austin, Texas 78741-7511
Contact: Steve Savoy
Phone: (512) 389-9990
Web Site:
Abstract: The benefits of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems with regard to total system efficiency are well known in commercial applications and operate at system efficiencies near 30% with some demonstration systems operating above 40%, compared with 15-20% peak efficiency for conventional PV. Because CPV systems must maintain alignment with the sun to maintain optical concentration, they harvest more energy throughout the day compared with non-tracked PV. Furthermore, because CPV systems use a fraction of the PV material required in conventional solar arrays, they have the potential to produce energy at a lower total cost. However, the operation and maintenance requirements and associated costs make traditional tracked systems unattractive for many customers. To address this challenge, Nanohmics proposes to develop and demonstrate proof-of-concept for its SunPerchT flat form-factor concentrating photovoltaic system, which integrates concentrating optics, use of advanced triple junction PV materials, and zero-wear in-panel tracking in a cost-effective package made from conventional materials and using proven manufacturing technologies. This combination of innovations delivers the benefits of high-performance CPV systems in the same form factor as fixed-tilt conventional PV systems.
Benefits: CPV presents obvious performance benefits over conventional PV, but to date has only proven cost effective at the largest scales and generally operated by utilities. Large and bulky panels and billboard-size tracking mechanisms are impractical for deployment on houses or buildings and preclude the entry of CPV into the rapidly growing residential and commercial utility customer market. Nanohmics' SunPerchT system has the same form factor and similar deployment constraints as conventional fixed PV and will therefore be able to compete directly in these markets. SunPerchT will answer this opportunity by offering greater performance (as measured both by peak power output and total energy produced) for equivalent cost and size of installation