The project “Improving the Performance of Concentrating PV by Exploiting the Excess Heat through a Low Temperature Supercritical Organic Rankine Cycle” deals with the development, design and experimental investigation of an integrated system, based on the concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) and supercritical organic Rankine cycle (ORC) technologies.

The proposed innovative concept deals with the conversion of the CPV/T heat to additional electricity through the Supercritical ORC (SCORC) process. SCORC is selected because enjoys better efficiencies at low temperatures in comparison to Subcritical ORC. This integrated CPV/T-SCORC system minimizes the temperature effect on the PV cells performance and improves the annual energy productivity (in kWh/kWp). In comparison to a flat PV system a performance improvement between 15-40% is anticipated, depending on the season, along with a more efficient heat transfer from the CPV/T system to the Rankine process (i.e. lower pinch point), due to the supercritical cycle.

The project duration is 24 months (start: January 2013) and is receiving funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme managed by REA-Research Executive Agency, http://ec.europa.eu/research/rea ([FP7/2007-2013] [FP7/2007-2011]) under grant agreement n° 315049 [CPV/RANKINE], FP7-SME-2012.


The project video has been released and can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beY0-bWz-IA&feature=youtu.be