One of the most usual procedures to measure a concentrator optical efficiency is by direct comparison between the photocurrent generated by the compound concentrator/solar cell and photocurrent that single cell would generate under identical radiation conditions. Unfortunately, such procedure can give a good idea of the generator final performance, but can not indicate the real amount of radiation that will impinge over the cell.
This apparent contradiction is based on the fact that once the cell is coupled with the concentrator, rays incidence is not perpendicular, but highly oblique, with an angle that can reach 70o or even greater for high concentration devices. The antireflective coating of the cell does not perform well enough for the whole incidence angle and frequency ranges because low cost is other important requirement for the solar cells. In consequence, the generated photocurrent drops for large incidence angles. In our case, a 70% incidence angle could, in the worst case, mean a 34% loss on generated photocurrent.
With the aim of correcting such problem a special device has been designed in the framework of a EU funded project called HAMLET. The concept of the device is to substitute the concentrator receptor by a system formed by an optical collimator that would reduce concentration and incidence angle, and a characterized solar cell. The paper gives the results of this measuring procedure.