The aim of the project ALCHEMI, funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), is to pave the way for the industrial manufacture of highly concentrating PV modules. To this end, manufacturing methods from the LED industry or the field of optoelectronics are to be adopted. The implementing European consortium hopes to achieve cost savings, particularly through the use of low-cost manufacturing technologies. German manufacturers could deliver primary optics and cells for the innovative module. Due to the thousandfold concentration of sunlight onto the individual solar cell, the HCPV cell being developed will have a particularly high degree of efficiency.

With the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), there is also a German research institute involved in the development of the prototype within the scope of this project. Its tasks will involve the design and characterisation of the two-stage concentrator optics. The planning for this envisages a silicon-on-glass (SOG) Fresnel lens as a primary optical element and a secondary optical element made of transparent silicon moulded directly onto the cell. Also, the available materials and the framework conditions used in industrial procedures is to be incorporated into the design. Furthermore, the module is to be optimised in terms of the overall efficiency as well, which is why a holistic approach is needed.

In addition, the Fraunhofer ISE is investigating how heat dissipation from the cell can be optimised by means of thermal management and how this could further minimise the cell’s operating temperature. For this purpose, the solar cell, optics, electrical contacting and switching and heat dissipation are all to be adjusted to be in line with each other as best as possible.

The project is running until April 2019.