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How Much!? Determining the Cost of an Assignment in an Organic Chemistry Class

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Students in Organic Chemistry for Majors were required to write a paper as the culminating course assignment. Prior to completing this assignment, students could attend a library instruction session covering

Students in Organic Chemistry for Majors were required to write a paper as the culminating course assignment. Prior to completing this assignment, students could attend a library instruction session covering relevant databases and resources. Upon submission of their papers, bibliographies from 53 students were collected. Calculations were made to attempt a holistic account of costs associated with completing the assignment. Factors such as the cost of journals, databases, and librarian time were all included in the overall cost estimate, totalling $7,189.22 for this single assignment.

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  • 2019-07-02

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LCOE Analyis of Solar Panel Recycling Methods

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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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  • 2018-05