Circadian Solar, one of the Europe’s leading developers of concentrated photovoltaic technology (CPV), has established a new test facility for its CPV solar energy system at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. This takes advantage both of the high direct normal solar insolation (DNI) in this part of Portugal and of the expertise of the established solar energy research group at the University of Lisbon, led by Professor António Vallêra.

The system installed is a 5 m2 tracker, a sub-structure of Circadian Solar’s 30 m2 system (CS30) that is at the heart of its product line. The research tracker allows easy access to the chassis for rapid changes of development modules, but provides the high (<0.4°) tracking accuracy of the standard product. Ethernet access is provided both for remote control of the tracker from Circadian’s UK headquarters and for transmission of data for performance monitoring and immediate analysis.

Prof António Vallêra remarked that the University of Lisbon is pleased to include the Circadian Solar research tracker in its solar test site and that, “we are all looking forward to learning from the data that the system is already collecting. Furthermore, we are delighted to form this new cooperation with Circadian Solar to assist the company in driving its innovative designs through to market applications.”

Dr. Geoffrey Duggan, Research and Development Director of Circadian Solar commented: “Our research tracker at the University of Lisbon is an important test facility, which will greatly enhance our development of improved modules and thin film, III-V solar cells that are under development via our joint venture, tf2 devices. Lisbon is easily accessible from the UK, and we are delighted to form this cooperative programme with Prof António Vallêra and his team. It is notable that within days of our engineers arriving on site, the tracker was assembled, installed and commissioned, and a record performance on a new module design was recorded and transmitted to our headquarters.” 

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About Circadian Solar
Circadian Solar is a leading developer of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technology that will unlock the huge potential of solar power as a clean, affordable and virtually unlimited energy source. Circadian Solar’s unique system is capable of delivering solar power at the same cost as conventional fossil fuel-generated electricity. Its technology, which has been developed by top scientists and engineers working to rigorous international standards, has been designed to work over a 20-year lifecycle.
 
Circadian has several demonstration projects in progress and is now planning a large scale manufacturing operation. In 2009 it entered a joint venture called tf2 devices with Radboud University to develop ‘thin-film three-five’ technology for use in solar cells, with the aim of matching the world record efficiency of III-V solar cells, while dramatically reducing the cost of manufacture. In 2010, it was ranked 16th in a list of the top 50 university spin-out companies compiled by The Daily Telegraph.

About the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
The Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon is a one century old Science and Technology School with over 4000 undergraduate and advanced students. It includes the first course in Portugal on Energy and Environment Engineering, with special emphasis on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The Solar Energy Research Group at the University of Lisbon focus on photovoltaics, both at the materials level, working on new methods for the growth of high quality and low cost solar materials, and at the system level, including innovative research on insolation and PV performance measurement and Concentration Photovoltaics (CPV). The group runs a Solar Test Site where the performances of a variety of solar PV systems are continuously monitored. 

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Ellie Bacon
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