solar concentrators with normal 1sun panels (but in northern climes?)

wintersolarwintersolar Registered Users Posts: 4
Hello, i'm completely new here and maybe i'm from the wrong state (minnesota) but this seemed like a pretty well informed board so I thought i'd join anyway even though i'm likely to have unique problems or issues nobody else will. :)

I was curious about the use of solar concentrators with the standard/common solar panels that are only expecting 1-sun of light at the maximum. I assume that many of them are not made to take the load of a concentrator (perhaps they could take some, 2 suns?) but because we get so much less insolation in winter my idea was to use concentrators to offset the loss of irradiance-per-meter to bring it back up again.

In short take a common panel meant for only 1 sun at the equator and use a variable concentrator for my northern lattitude where it can be as low as I think 1/3 the irradiance to bring it back up to 1 full sun level in the middle of winter, even though i'll still have less hours of insolation and such. Is this a good or bad idea and why?


  • ThomThom Solar Expert Posts: 196 ✭✭✭
    Re: solar concentrators with normal 1sun panels (but in northern climes?)

    1 sun panels ? What planet has more then 1 ? The freight charge must be expensive;0)

    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator . Added 2@ 100w panel with a midnight brat 
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,319 admin
    Re: solar concentrators with normal 1sun panels (but in northern climes?)

    In sub freezing weather, and snow on the ground, near vertical panels in the far north can actually have more than rated power out of them because of cold temperatures (raises Vmp-array in cold temperatures) and reflection from snow.

    The next question, how much power watt would it cost to mount mirrored panels vs just simply 2x more solar panels.

    Note that when you add mirrors, you frequently need to add tracking too--Keep the mirrors focused on the panels. Added complexity and expense.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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