Solar energy has become a matter of global attention in the past few years. This paper explores the use and benefit of solar concentrators in the solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. First, a short literature review of previous research on the usage of solar concentrators in improving solar PV system performance and reducing the cost of implementation is presented. This is followed by an overview of SolarBrane, an example of a Building Integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system which uses an optical concentrator in the solar PV design. An optimised design of the SolarBrane is also discussed afterwards. A financial benefit study is conducted to compare the average return of investment of using the optimised SolarBrane and traditional solar PV installed in Malaysia's environment. SolarBrane has proven to be a good alternative to achieve cost-effective solar PV system. The financial analysis simulated under the new Malaysian Feed-In Tariff scheme indicates that the optimised SolarBrane could potentially reduce the initial cost of implementation by 40% and generate higher return, close to 20%, when compared to traditional solar PV systems.
- dielectric totally internally reflecting concentrator
- financial analysis
- solar concentrator
- solar photovoltaic