The initial prototype, which is expected to be turned into a commercial product, has been designed to provide 300 percent light magnification. Tim Young, CEO of HyperSolar tells pv magazine this will reduce the number of cells required in a solar panel by around 60 percent. However, the company hopes to increase this to 400 percent, thus significantly reducing the required cell number.
Young explains: "While we're constantly trying to achieve 400 percent light magnification, 300 percent light magnification and approximately 60 percent reduction in cells is still a major breakthrough in the industry." He continues: "We have taken in approx $1.7 million investment to this point. The majority of this project has been in R&D. As we move deeper into fabrication the amount of investment will likely increase."
In terms of the commercial version of the HyperSolar concentrator, the company says it will be around one centimeter thick, and will be applied as the top sheet on flat solar panels. The initial prototype is expected to be a single micro-concentrator module fabricated at a larger size to facilitate testing and validation of its real-life performance.
The company adds that once the photonic and optical characteristics of the micro-concentrator module are validated and refined, the design can then be "easily" miniaturized for mass production. It is yet unclear, however, when the product will be ready for the market or what the inital production capacity will be.
"Unlike current concentrated photovoltaic solutions that require bulky mirrors or lenses and sun tracking mechanisms, the HyperSolar concentrator will be a thin and flat self-tracking solar concentrator that conventional solar manufacturers can use in conventional flat solar panels," concludes Young.
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