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Optimization of Si solar cells, plastic materials and technologies for the development of more efficient concentRatION photovoltaic systems (ORION)
Start date: Oct 1, 2008, End date: Dec 31, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The development of renewable energy is a central aim of the EU Commission's energy policy. Concentration PhotoVoltaics (CPV) has been demonstrated to be a good solution in PV industry and in the last years has become more attractive and several companies have been founded with the main goal of decreasing the cost of PV-generated electricity. The main objective of this project is the optimization of materials and technologies involved in CPV System production to reduce system cost/watt and increase system efficiency. The reduction of system cost/watt, that reflects in reduction of PV-generated electricity, will be achieved by: -developing an all-plastic system by using recycled plastic compounds; -developing Si solar cells for automatic assembling technology; -implementing and industrializing automated high-rate technologies for cell assembly and optics production. The increase of system efficiency will be achieved by: -increasing Si concentration cell efficiency by using surface plasmonic crystal structures; -developing plastic materials doped with down-converting nanoparticles for modification of the solar spectrum to enhance the cell efficiency. The scientific objectives concern optimization of Si solar cell and the development of new application-addressed nanocomposite thermoplastic material. Technological objectives concern the implementation and industrialization of automated low-cost technologies for CPV components fabrications. The scientific and technological objectives of the project will be exploited by the realization of a low –CPV system with a projection 2-3 €/Watt . The new system, ready to be produced at the end of the project, will be based on Si concentration solar cell technology coupled to hybrid mirror-lens concentrator optical system. The project also includes the design and development of an innovative one-axis tracker integrated with optics for the realization of a compact and modular CPV system for domestic rooftop applications.
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