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Tracking Concentrated Solar Photovoltaic

rendering of SunPower's Concentrated Photovoltaic C7 Tracker
SunPower’s Concentrated Photovoltaic C7 Tracker captures more of the sun’s energy using less land and fewer photovoltaic cells.
SunPower Corp.

Real estate is expensive. Solar photovoltaic cells are expensive. Obviously, there’d be an advantage to being able to produce the same power using less of each. SunPower’s new C7 Tracker makes this possible by combining parabolic mirrors to concentrate the sun’s power and an automated tracking system that follows the sun as it transits the sky. The system concentrates the sun’s power seven times to achieve the lowest levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar power plants available today.

The C7 Tracker combines single-axis tracking technology with rows of parabolic mirrors, reflecting light onto 22.8 percent efficient SunPower Maxeon solar cells, which are the world’s most efficient commercially available solar cells. Using mirrors to reduce the number of solar cells required to generate electricity lowers the LCOE by up to 20 percent compared to competing technologies. For example, a 400-megawatt C7 Tracker power plant requires less than 70 megawatts of SunPower solar cells.

The C7 Tracker includes modular solar cell receivers allowing for future performance upgrades. Additionally, the SunPower advanced Tracker Monitoring and Control System (TMAC) provides wireless control of the power plant for increased operating efficiency and reduced maintenance cost. SunPower can rapidly deploy regional manufacturing of the system, supporting local job creation.

SunPower CEO Tom Werner commented, “The SunPower C7 Tracker significantly increases SunPower’s effective manufacturing capacity, delivers bankable technology with guaranteed performance and leverages a decade of experience in reliable tracking systems.”

The C7 Tracker is ideal for regions with high solar irradiance through direct sunlight, including the U.S. Southwest and areas of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Werner explaines, “With more than 400 megawatts of power plants operating around the world by the end of this year, SunPower consistently delivers the most efficient and reliable solar technology on the market, and the greatest return on investment to our customers.”

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