Matching Items (27)

All About Solar

Description

This is a lectures series on photovoltaics. As the need for electrical energy rises, mankind has struggled to meet its need in a reliable lasting way. Throughout this struggle, solar

This is a lectures series on photovoltaics. As the need for electrical energy rises, mankind has struggled to meet its need in a reliable lasting way. Throughout this struggle, solar energy has come to the foreground as a complete solution. However, it has many drawbacks and needs a lot of development. In addition, the general public is unaware of how solar energy works, how it is made, and how it stands economically. This series of lectures answering those three questions. After two years doing photovoltaic research, and an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering, enough expertise has been acquired present on at a late high-school to early college level. Education is key to improving the popularity of using solar energy and the popularity of investing in photovoltaic research. Solar energy is a viable option to satisfy our energy crisis because the materials it requires can quickly be acquired, and there is enough of material to provide a global solution. In addition, the amount of solar energy that hits the surface of the earth in a day is orders of magnitude more than the amount of energy we require. The main goal of this project is to have an effective accessible tool to teach people about solar. Thus, the lectured will be posted on pveducation.com, YouTube, the Barrett repository, and the QUSST website. The content was acquired in four ways. The first way is reading up on the current papers and journals describing the new developments in photovoltaics. The second part is getting in contact with Stuart Bowden and Bill Daukser at Arizona State University's Solar Power Lab as well as the other faculty associated with the Solar Power Lab. There is quite a bit of novel research going on at their lab, as well as a student run pilot line that is actively building solar cells. The third way is reading about solar device physics using device physics textbooks and the PVEducation website made by Stuart Bowden. The forth way is going into ASU's solar power lab.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Optimization of Front Contact Design on Nickel-Plated Si Solar Cells

Description

As global population and demand for electrical power increase, humanity is faced with the growing challenge of harnessing and distributing enough energy to sustain the developing world. Currently, fossil fuels

As global population and demand for electrical power increase, humanity is faced with the growing challenge of harnessing and distributing enough energy to sustain the developing world. Currently, fossil fuels (coal
atural gas) are our main sources of electricity. However, their cost is increasing, they are nonrenewable, and they are very harmful to the environment. Thus, capacity expansion in the renewable energy sector must be realized to offset higher energy demand and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Solar energy represents a practical solution, as installed global solar capacity has been increasing exponentially over the past 2 decades. However, even with government incentives, solar energy price ($/kWh) continues to be highly dependent on political climate and raw material (silicon and silver) cost. To realistically and cost effectively meet the projected expansions within the solar industry, silver must be replaced with less costly and more abundant metals (such as copper) in the front-grid metallization process of photovoltaic cells. Copper, while offering both higher achievable efficiencies and a raw material cost nearly 100 times cheaper than silver, has inherent disadvantages. Specifically, copper diffuses rapidly into the silicon substrate, requires more complex and error-prone processing steps, and tends to have less adhesive strength, reducing panel robustness. In this study, nickel deposition via sputtering was analyzed, as well as overall potential of nickel as a seed layer for copper plating, which also provides a barrier layer to copper diffusion in silicon. Thermally-formed nickel silicide also reduces contact resistivity, increasing cell efficiency. It was found that at 400 \u00B0C, ideal nickel silicide formation occurred. By computer modeling, contact resistivity was found to have a significant impact on cell efficiency (up to 1.8%). Finally, sputtering proved useful to analyze nickel silicide formation, but costs and time requirements prevent it from being a practical industrial-scale metallization method.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

All About Solar

Description

This is a lectures series on photovoltaics. As the need for electrical energy rises, mankind has struggled to meet its need in a reliable lasting way. Throughout this struggle, solar

This is a lectures series on photovoltaics. As the need for electrical energy rises, mankind has struggled to meet its need in a reliable lasting way. Throughout this struggle, solar energy has come to the foreground as a complete solution. However, it has many drawbacks and needs a lot of development. In addition, the general public is unaware of how solar energy works, how it is made, and how it stands economically. This series of lectures answering those three questions.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Understanding the Social Value of Solar Energy Production in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Description

With an abundance of sunshine, the state of Arizona has the potential for producing large amounts of solar energy. However, in recent years Arizona has also become the focal point

With an abundance of sunshine, the state of Arizona has the potential for producing large amounts of solar energy. However, in recent years Arizona has also become the focal point in a political battle to determine the value and future of residential solar energy fees, which has critical implications for distributed generation. As the debate grows, it is clear that solar policies developed in Arizona will influence other state regulators regarding their solar rate structures and Net Energy Metering; however, there is a hindrance in the progress of this discussion due to the varying frameworks of the stakeholders involved. For this project, I set out to understand and analyze why the different stakeholders have such conflicting viewpoints. Some groups interpret energy as a financial and technological object while others view it is an inherently social and political issue. I conducted research in three manners: 1) I attended public meetings, 2) hosted interviews, and 3) analyzed reports and studies on the value of solar. By using the SRP 2015 Rate Case as my central study, I will discuss how these opposing viewpoints do or do not incorporate various forms of justice such as distributive, participatory, and recognition justice. In regards to the SRP Rate Case, I will look at both the utility- consumer relationship and the public meeting processes in which they interact, in addition to the pricing plans. This work reveals that antiquated utility structures and a lack of participation and recognition justice are hindering the creation of policy changes that satisfy both the needs of the utilities and the community at large.

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Date Created
  • 2015-12

Solar Power around the Phoenix Metro Area: Is there a Stigma Against Solar Energy?

Description

A survey was created to help gain some insight on the opinions of homeowners across the <br/>Phoenix Metro Area. This survey consisted of 7 questions relating to personal experiences and

A survey was created to help gain some insight on the opinions of homeowners across the <br/>Phoenix Metro Area. This survey consisted of 7 questions relating to personal experiences and <br/>the homeowners’ opinions or concerns. The results of the survey showed that there are a few <br/>concerns surrounding solar energy with an emphasis on the cost of maintenance of panels and <br/>the payback period where the homeowners would see a return on their investment. Most of the <br/>homeowners answered that they do not use solar energy but have thought about using it for their <br/>main source of energy before. The homeowners in the survey also thought that solar energy was <br/>overall too expensive and that it would take a long time before they would see any payoff or <br/>savings from the solar panels. It was found that the payback period for panels is around 7 years <br/>and that depending on the size of the solar system installed or on the model used, solar panels <br/>cost much less than many people think. This was found by researching non-biased resources <br/>from government websites and from local energy companies’ websites. To combat the concerns <br/>found from the survey, an infographic was created to help inform the public about solar energy <br/>and allow the homeowners to make decisions that are well informed and not based on <br/>misinformation. The infographic included information related to the survey by explaining the <br/>survey and explaining topics that were of concern to the homeowners who took the survey. In <br/>addition, the infographic displayed information about solar energy and that the decision to use <br/>solar is ultimately up to the audience.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Developing a Tool to Identify Locations for Renewable Energy Potential

Description

Shifting to renewable energy from fossil fuels is not occurring rapidly. Determining where to locate renewable power plants could help expedite development. The project discussed here uses a GIS ranking

Shifting to renewable energy from fossil fuels is not occurring rapidly. Determining where to locate renewable power plants could help expedite development. The project discussed here uses a GIS ranking tool to determine potential locations for solar and wind power plants in Arizona. Criteria include renewable input (irradiance/wind class), topographic slope, and distance from transmission lines. These are ranked and summed to determine areas with the most potential. The resulting outputs show that there is much more potential land for solar development than wind development. Further analysis in this paper will focus solely on solar due to wind's lower potential. Land sensitivity and ownership are used to assess the feasibility of development. There are many groupings of highly ranked land across the state, but the largest stretch of land runs from outside of Marana (south-central Arizona) northwest to about 60 miles west of Wickenburg (central-west). This regions is mainly on BLM, state, and privately owned land. Some of this land is considered sensitive, but non-sensitive areas with high potential are frequent throughout. Renewable potential in other states could be determined using this tool as well. Variables could be weighted or added depending on each area's need.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Design and Construction of Controlled Back Reflectors for Bifacial Photovoltaic Modules

Description

Bifacial photovoltaic modules are a relatively new development in the photovoltaic industry which allows for the collection and conversion of light on both sides of photovoltaic modules to usable electricity.

Bifacial photovoltaic modules are a relatively new development in the photovoltaic industry which allows for the collection and conversion of light on both sides of photovoltaic modules to usable electricity. Additional energy yield from bifacial photovoltaic modules, despite a slight increase in cost due to manufacturing processes of the bifacial cells, has the potential to significantly decrease the LCOE of photovoltaic installation. The performance of bifacial modules is dependent on three major factors: incident irradiation on the front side of the module, reflected irradiation on the back side of the module, and the module's bifaciality. Bifaciality is an inherent property of the photovoltaic cells and is determined by the performance of the front and rear side of the module when tested at STC. The reflected light on the back side of the module, however, is determined by several different factors including the incident ground irradiance, shading from the modules and racking system, height of the module installation, and ground albedo. Typical ground surfaces have a low albedo, which means that the magnitude of reflected light is a low percentage of the incident irradiance. Non-uniformity of back-side irradiance can also reduce the power generation due to cell-to-cell mismatch losses. This study investigates the use of controlled back-side reflectors to improve the irradiance on the back side of loosely packed 48-cell bifacial modules and compares this performance to the performance of 48 and 60-cell bifacial modules which rely on the uncontrolled reflection off nearby ground surfaces. Different construction geometries and reflective coating materials were tested to determine optimal construction to improve the reflectivity and uniformity of reflection. Results of this study show a significant improvement of 10-14% total energy production from modules with reflectors when compared to the 48-cell module with an uncontrolled ground reflection.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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LCOE Analyis of Solar Panel Recycling Methods

Description

Solar panels need to be both cost effective and environmentally friendly to compete with traditional energy forms. Photovoltaic recycling has the potential to mitigate the harm of waste, which is

Solar panels need to be both cost effective and environmentally friendly to compete with traditional energy forms. Photovoltaic recycling has the potential to mitigate the harm of waste, which is often landfilled, while putting material back into the manufacturing process. Out of many, three methods show much promise: Full Recovery End-of-Life Photovoltaic (FRELP), mechanical, and sintering-based recycling. FRELP recycling has quickly gained prominence in Europe and promises to fully recover the components in a solar cell. The mechanical method has produced high yields of valuable materials using basic and inexpensive processes. The sintering method has the potential to tap into a large market for feldspar. Using a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) analysis, the three methods could be compared on an economic basis. This showed that the mechanical method is least expensive, and the sintering method is the most expensive. Using this model, all recycling methods are less cost effective than the control analysis without recycling. Sensitivity analyses were then done on the effect of the discount rate, capacity factor, and lifespan on the LCOE. These results showed that the change in capacity factor had the most significant effect on the levelized cost of electricity. A final sensitivity analysis was done based on the decreased installation and balance of systems costs in 2025. With a 55% decrease in these costs, the LCOE decreased by close to $0.03/kWh for each method. Based on these results, the cost of each recycling method would be a more considerable proportion of the overall LCOE of the solar farm.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Solar Powered Amphibious Transport

Description

The Solar Powered Amphibious Transport (SPAT) is an amphibious hovercraft that uses solar energy as a power source and is fully controlled via iOS application on a phone or tablet.

The Solar Powered Amphibious Transport (SPAT) is an amphibious hovercraft that uses solar energy as a power source and is fully controlled via iOS application on a phone or tablet. The hovercraft field is relatively unexplored with a solar power source, and one of the goals of the SPAT was to spark interest in sustainable hovercraft design. By challenging the potential of solar power, the SPAT proves that solar energy can be used in high power transportation applications. The second motive behind the creation a hovercraft was for it to serve as a disaster relief vehicle. A hovercraft can traverse both ground and water, which makes it ideal in flooded areas. With the SPAT being remote controlled it can allow the operator to stay at a safe distance while sending supplies or rescuing a person. The SPAT design covered multiple size options, however a small prototype version was built to serve as a proof of concept that a larger solar hovercraft is possible. Our analysis suggests that a larger craft will be able to carry more weight, and be more power efficient. A larger SPAT could help deliver supplies or rescue stranded people after a flood or hurricane. One issue faced however, was that many hovercrafts are highly expensive. The SPAT prototype was designed on a tight budget that did not exceed $800. The possibility of achieving this cost levels allows hovercraft to be a reasonable option for disaster relief agencies. After many long hours spent the SPAT became a fully operational remote control solar powered hovercraft.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05