The Potential for Concentrator Photovoltaics: A Feasibility Study in India

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Progress in Photovoltaics, Volume 27, Issue 4, p.316-327 (2019)



India has aggressive plans for scaling up photovoltaic installations in the coming decades. Currently fixed tilt, flat plate crystalline silicon (c‐Si) technology sets the standard for cost and performance and is both robust and relatively easy to deploy. Concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) systems have a different cost structure; using solar cells with the highest efficiencies, system efficiencies greater than 30% are possible, but the system is also more sensitive to meteorological conditions. India has a complex and varied atmosphere that prevents a straightforward comparison of technologies, and hence, in this paper, we use a computer model to simulate the power output from CPV systems located in locations in India where the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) stations are based and additionally, in Bangalore where we have a CPV test station. We quantify the increased intermittency suffered by CPV systems that arises from the larger dynamic range in direct beam irradiance over global irradiance. Nevertheless, by calculating the target system costs required to attain a competitive levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), we find that CPV systems in some, but not all locations have the opportunity to compete against dual‐axis tracked and inclined c‐Si based PV in India.