Full-spectrum solar energy utilization has drawn widespread attention for cascading solar energy utilization. A spectral splitting approach is described and a prototype is originally presented. Innovatively, the fullspectrum solar energy is first split and then concentrated onto photovoltaics and solar thermochemical reactor. In this case, the irreversible loss would be expected to be reduced. Here, thermodynamic evaluation of prototype is conducted. The monocrystalline silicon photovoltaics and methanol decomposing are adopted. The results show that the solar-to-electricity efficiency would be 37% in the hybrid system, 19% higher than individual concentrating solar photovoltaics and 9% higher than individual solar thermochemical system. An optimal working spectral range is about 280-1100nm for the silicon photovoltaics. The proposal of hybrid approach of solar photovoltaics and endothermal reaction leads to a feasible strategy for cascading solar energy utilization.
Keywords Cascading solar energy utilization, hybrid prototype, full spectrum, spectral splitting approach