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The Development of a Power System for the Phoenix CubeSat

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The Phoenix CubeSat is a 3U Earth imaging CubeSat which will take infrared (IR) photos of cities in the United Stated to study the Urban Heat Island Effect, (UHI) from low earth orbit (LEO). It has many different components that

The Phoenix CubeSat is a 3U Earth imaging CubeSat which will take infrared (IR) photos of cities in the United Stated to study the Urban Heat Island Effect, (UHI) from low earth orbit (LEO). It has many different components that need to be powered during the life of its mission. The only power source during the mission will be its solar panels. It is difficult to calculate power generation from solar panels by hand because of the different orientations the satellite will be positioned in during orbit; therefore, simulation will be used to produce power generation data. Knowing how much power is generated is integral to balancing the power budget, confirming whether there is enough power for all the components, and knowing whether there will be enough power in the batteries during eclipse. This data will be used to create an optimal design for the Phoenix CubeSat to accomplish its mission.

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2017-05

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Design of Advanced DC-AC Converter for Underprivileged Communities

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Growing up in Ghana West Africa, I realized there were a few major obstacles hindering the education of the youth. One of them was the consistent supply of all year-round power. Therefore, pursuing a career in power electronics, I decided

Growing up in Ghana West Africa, I realized there were a few major obstacles hindering the education of the youth. One of them was the consistent supply of all year-round power. Therefore, pursuing a career in power electronics, I decided to research and implement a budget-friendly DC-AC converter that can take power from a DC source such as a solar panel to make AC power, suitable for grid-implementation. This project was undertaken with two other colleagues (Ian Vogt and Brett Fennelly), as our Senior Design Capstone project. My colleagues primarily researched into the "advanced" part of the converter such as Volt-VAR, Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT), and variable power factor, making the Capstone project be dubbed as "Smart Inverter". In this paper, I elaborate on the entire process of my research and simulation, through the design and layout of the PCB board to milling, soldering and testing. That was my contribution to the capstone project. After testing the board, it was concluded that although the inverter was intended to be the very inexpensive, some electrical and design principles could not be compromised. The converter did successfully invert DC power to AC, but it was only at low voltage levels; it could not withstand the higher voltages. This roadblock stymied the testing of advanced functionalities, paving way for an avenue of further research and implementation.

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2018-05

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Wire Interconnections in Solar Modules

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Wire connected solar cells are a promising new technology that can increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of solar modules. The use of wire rather than ribbon bus bars can lead to reduced shading, better light trapping, and reduced

Wire connected solar cells are a promising new technology that can increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of solar modules. The use of wire rather than ribbon bus bars can lead to reduced shading, better light trapping, and reduced material costs, all while eliminating the need for soldering. This research first analyzes the optimal wire gauge to reduce cracking and improve efficiency. Wire sizes between 20 AWG and 28 AWG were tested, with the optimal size being between 24 AWG and 26 AWG for the ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) layer used in the module. A polyethylene sheet was then added between the wires and EVA layer to prevent the EVA from running underneath the wires during lamination, ultimately allowing for a more uniform contact and only a slight reduction in quantum efficiency. Then, a comparison between tinned copper wires and indium coated copper wires is shown. A mini-module efficiency of 20.0% has been achieved using tinned copper wires, while indium coated copper wires have produced a mini-module efficiency of 21.2%. Thus, tinned copper wires can be a viable alternative to indium coated copper wires, depending on the needs of the customers and the current price of indium. The module design throughout the research utilizes a planar assembly method, which improves the ease of manufacturing for wire interconnection technology. A two-cell base component is constructed and shown, with the intended future application of making large wire connected modules. Finally, wire applications in both single-cell and four-cell flexible modules are explored, with an efficiency of 18.65% achieved on a single-cell, flexible, heterojunction solar module using wire interconnections. A fully flexible four-cell string is developed, and future recommendations for related research are included.

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2015-12

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An Economic Perspective -- Hybrid Solar Modules: Harnessing Solar Energy for Electrical and Thermal Applications

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A hybrid PV/T module was built, consisting of a thermal liquid heating system and a photovoltaic module system that combine in a hybrid format. This report will discuss the work on the project from Fall 2012 to Spring 2013 and

A hybrid PV/T module was built, consisting of a thermal liquid heating system and a photovoltaic module system that combine in a hybrid format. This report will discuss the work on the project from Fall 2012 to Spring 2013 and the extended section on the economics for the Honors Thesis. Three stages of experiments were completed. Stage 1 showed our project was functional as we were able to verify our panel produced electricity and increased the temperature of water flowing in the system by 0.65°C. Stage 2 testing included “gluing” the flow system to the back of the panel resulting in an average increase of 4.76°C in the temperature of the water in the system. Stage 3 testing included adding insulating foam to the module which resulted in increasing the average temperature of the water in our flow system by 6.95°C. The economic calculations show the expected energy cost savings for Arizona residents.

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2013-05

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Hybrid Solar Module: Harnessing Solar Energy for Electrical and Thermal Applications

Description

A hybrid PV/T module was built, consisting of a thermal liquid heating system and a photovoltaic module system that combine in a hybrid format. This report will discuss the work on the project from Fall 2012 to Spring 2013. Three

A hybrid PV/T module was built, consisting of a thermal liquid heating system and a photovoltaic module system that combine in a hybrid format. This report will discuss the work on the project from Fall 2012 to Spring 2013. Three stages of experiments were completed. Stage 1 showed our project was functional as we were able to verify our panel produced electricity and increased the temperature of water flowing in the system by 0.65°C. Stage 2 testing included “gluing” the flow system to the back of the panel resulting in an average increase of 4.76°C in the temperature of the water in the system. Stage 3 testing included adding insulating foam to the module which resulted in increasing the average temperature of the water in our flow system by 6.95°C.

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2013-05

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Development of Frequency Selective Surfaces for RF Interrogator Design

Description

The honors thesis presented in this document describes an extension to an electrical engineering capstone project whose scope is to develop the receiver electronics for an RF interrogator. The RF interrogator functions by detecting the change in resonant frequency

The honors thesis presented in this document describes an extension to an electrical engineering capstone project whose scope is to develop the receiver electronics for an RF interrogator. The RF interrogator functions by detecting the change in resonant frequency of (i.e, frequency of maximum backscatter from) a target resulting from an environmental input. The general idea of this honors project was to design three frequency selective surfaces that would act as surrogate backscattering or reflecting targets that each contains a distinct frequency response. Using 3-D electromagnetic simulation software, three surrogate targets exhibiting bandpass frequency responses at distinct frequencies were designed and presented in this thesis.

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2021-05

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Advanced PV Inverter with Grid Supporting Functions using Wide Bandgap Devices and the IEEE 1547-2018

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Energy poverty is the lack of access to the basic energy resources needed for human development. Fossil fuels, through their heavy emissions and transience, are slowly but surely leaving room for change in the energy sector as renewable energy sources

Energy poverty is the lack of access to the basic energy resources needed for human development. Fossil fuels, through their heavy emissions and transience, are slowly but surely leaving room for change in the energy sector as renewable energy sources rise to the challenge of sustainable, clean, and cost-efficient energy production. Because it is mostly located in rural areas, solutions crafted against energy poverty need to be appropriate for those areas and their development objectives. As top contenders, photovoltaics insertion in the energy market has largely soared creating, therefore, a need for its distributed energy resources to interconnect appropriately to the area electrical power system. EEE Senior Design Team 11 saw in this the need to design an advanced photovoltaic inverter with those desired grid functions but also leveraging the technological superiority of wide bandgap devices over silicon semiconductors. The honors creative project is an integral part of the senior design capstone project for Team 11. It has a two-front approach, first exploring the IEEE 1547-2018 standard on distributed energy resources; then focusing on the author’s personal contribution to the aforementioned senior design project: digital signal processing and grid support implementation. This report serves as an accompanying write up to the creative project.

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2019-05

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Solar Powered Intrusion Detector

Description

The project described here is a solar powered intrusion detection system consisting of three modules: a battery recharging circuit, a laser emitter and photodetector pair, and a Wi- Fi connectivity board. Over the preceding seven months, great care has been

The project described here is a solar powered intrusion detection system consisting of three modules: a battery recharging circuit, a laser emitter and photodetector pair, and a Wi- Fi connectivity board. Over the preceding seven months, great care has been taken for the design and construction of this system. The first three months were spent researching and selecting suitable IC's and external components (e.g. solar panel, batteries, etc.). Then, the next couple of months were spent ordering specific materials and equipment for the construction of our prototype. Finally, the last two months were used to build a working prototype, with a substantial amount of time used for perfecting our system's packaging and operation. This report will consist of a detailed discussion of our team's research, design activities, prototype implementation, final budget, and final schedule. Technical discussion of the concepts behind our design will assist with understanding the design activities and prototype implementation sections that will follow. Due to the generous funding of the group from the Barrett Honors College, our overall budget available for the project was $1600. Of that amount, only $334.51 was spent on the actual system components, with $829.42 being spent on the equipment and materials needed for the testing and construction of the prototype. As far as the schedule goes, we are essentially done with the project. The only tasks left to finish are a successful defense of the project at the oral presentation on Friday, 29 March 2013, followed by a successful demo on 26 April 2013.

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2013-05

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Flexible Fractal-Inspired Metamaterial for Head Imaging at 3 T MRI

Description

The ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image any part of the human body without the effects of harmful radiation such as in CAT and PET scans established MRI as a clinical mainstay for a variety of different ailments

The ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image any part of the human body without the effects of harmful radiation such as in CAT and PET scans established MRI as a clinical mainstay for a variety of different ailments and maladies. Short wavelengths accompany the high frequencies present in high-field MRI, and are on the same scale as the human body at a static magnetic field strength of 3 T (128 MHz). As a result of these shorter wavelengths, standing wave effects are produced in the MR bore where the patient is located. These standing waves generate bright and dark spots in the resulting MR image, which correspond to irregular regions of high and low clarity. Coil loading is also an inevitable byproduct of subject positioning inside the bore, which decreases the signal that the region of interest (ROI) receives for the same input power. Several remedies have been proposed in the literature to remedy the standing wave effect, including the placement of high permittivity dielectric pads (HPDPs) near the ROI. Despite the success of HPDPs at smoothing out image brightness, these pads are traditionally bulky and take up a large spatial volume inside the already small MR bore. In recent years, artificial periodic structures known as metamaterials have been designed to exhibit specific electromagnetic effects when placed inside the bore. Although typically thinner than HPDPs, many metamaterials in the literature are rigid and cannot conform to the shape of the patient, and some are still too bulky for practical use in clinical settings. The well-known antenna engineering concept of fractalization, or the introduction of self-similar patterns, may be introduced to the metamaterial to display a specific resonance curve as well as increase the metamaterial’s intrinsic capacitance. Proposed in this paper is a flexible fractal-inspired metamaterial for application in 3 T MR head imaging. To demonstrate the advantages of this flexibility, two different metamaterial configurations are compared to determine which produces a higher localized signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and average signal measured in the image: in the first configuration, the metamaterial is kept rigid underneath a human head phantom to represent metamaterials in the literature (single-sided placement); and in the second, the metamaterial is wrapped around the phantom to utilize its flexibility (double-sided placement). The double-sided metamaterial setup was found to produce an increase in normalized SNR of over 5% increase in five of six chosen ROIs when compared to no metamaterial use and showed a 10.14% increase in the total average signal compared to the single-sided configuration.

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2022-05