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Grad School: Human Growth Horror - Creative Project Entry of an Action/Adventure Computer Game Designed to Experimentally Demonstrate Viable Engineering Concepts for Educational Purposes

Description

The action/adventure game Grad School: HGH is the final, extended version of a BME Prototyping class project in which the goal was to produce a zombie-themed game that teaches biomedical engineering concepts. The gameplay provides fast paced, exciting, and mildly

The action/adventure game Grad School: HGH is the final, extended version of a BME Prototyping class project in which the goal was to produce a zombie-themed game that teaches biomedical engineering concepts. The gameplay provides fast paced, exciting, and mildly addicting rooms that the player must battle and survive through, followed by an engineering puzzle that must be solved in order to advance to the next room. The objective of this project was to introduce the core concepts of BME to prospective students, rather than attempt to teach an entire BME curriculum. Based on user testing at various phases in the project, we concluded that the gameplay was engaging enough to keep most users' interest through the educational puzzles, and the potential for expanding this project to reach an even greater audience is vast.

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2014-05

BIOELECTRIC IMPEDANCE ANALYSIS AS A METHOD FOR QUANTITATIVE HYDRATION MEASUREMENT

Description

Volume depletion can lead to migraines, dizziness, and significant decreases in a subject's ability to physically perform. A major cause of volume depletion is dehydration, or loss in fluids due to an imbalance in fluid intake to fluid excretion. Because

Volume depletion can lead to migraines, dizziness, and significant decreases in a subject's ability to physically perform. A major cause of volume depletion is dehydration, or loss in fluids due to an imbalance in fluid intake to fluid excretion. Because proper levels of hydration are necessary in order to maintain both short and long term health, the ability to monitor hydration levels is growing in clinical demand. Although devices capable of monitoring hydration level exist, these devices are expensive, invasive, or inaccurate and do not offer a continuous mode of measurement. The ideal hydration monitor for consumer use needs to be characterized by its portability, affordability, and accuracy. Also, this device would need to be noninvasive and offer continuous hydration monitoring in order to accurately assess fluctuations in hydration data throughout a specified time period. One particular method for hydration monitoring that fits the majority of these criteria is known as bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA). Although current devices using BIA do not provide acceptable levels of accuracy, portability, or continuity in data collection, BIA could potentially be modified to fit many, if not all, desired customer specifications. The analysis presented here assesses the viability of using BIA as a new standard in hydration level measurement. The analysis uses data collected from 22 subjects using an existing device that employs BIA. A regression derived for estimating TBW based on the parameters of age, weight, height, sex, and impedance is presented. Using impedance data collected for each subject, a regression was also derived for estimating impedance based on the factors of age, weight, height, and sex. The derived regression was then used to calculate a new impedance value for each subject, and these new impedance values were used to estimate TBW. Through a paired-t test between the TBW values derived by using the direct measurements versus the calculated measurements of impedance, the two samples were found to be comparable. Considerations for BIA as a noninvasive measurement of hydration are discussed.

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2013-05

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Noninvasive metabolic monitoring: an assessment of thermoelectric gas adsorption biosensors for acetone and ethanol detection in breath analysis

Description

In the search for chemical biosensors designed for patient-based physiological applications, non-invasive diagnostic approaches continue to have value. The work described in this thesis builds upon previous breath analysis studies. In particular, it seeks to assess the adsorptive

In the search for chemical biosensors designed for patient-based physiological applications, non-invasive diagnostic approaches continue to have value. The work described in this thesis builds upon previous breath analysis studies. In particular, it seeks to assess the adsorptive mechanisms active in both acetone and ethanol biosensors designed for breath analysis. The thermoelectric biosensors under investigation were constructed using a thermopile for transduction and four different materials for biorecognition. The analytes, acetone and ethanol, were evaluated under dry-air and humidified-air conditions. The biosensor response to acetone concentration was found to be both repeatable and linear, while the sensor response to ethanol presence was also found to be repeatable. The different biorecognition materials produced discernible thermoelectric responses that were characteristic for each analyte. The sensor output data is presented in this report. Additionally, the results were evaluated against a mathematical model for further analysis. Ultimately, a thermoelectric biosensor based upon adsorption chemistry was developed and characterized. Additional work is needed to characterize the physicochemical action mechanism.

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2011

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Photovoltaic modules: effect of tilt angle on soiling

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are one of the next generation's renewable energy sources for our world energy demand. PV modules are highly reliable. However, in polluted environments, over time, they will collect grime and dust. There are also limited field data

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are one of the next generation's renewable energy sources for our world energy demand. PV modules are highly reliable. However, in polluted environments, over time, they will collect grime and dust. There are also limited field data studies about soiling losses on PV modules. The study showed how important it is to investigate the effect of tilt angle on soiling. The study includes two sets of mini-modules. Each set has 9 PV modules tilted at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 23, 30, 33 and 40°. The first set called "Cleaned" was cleaned every other day. The second set called "Soiled" was never cleaned after the first day. The short circuit current, a measure of irradiance, and module temperature was monitored and recorded every two minutes over three months (January-March 2011). The data were analyzed to investigate the effect of tilt angle on daily and monthly soiling, and hence transmitted solar insolation and energy production by PV modules. The study shows that during the period of January through March 2011 there was an average loss due to soiling of approximately 2.02% for 0° tilt angle. Modules at tilt anlges 23° and 33° also have some insolation losses but do not come close to the module at 0° tilt angle. Tilt anlge 23° has approximately 1.05% monthly insolation loss, and 33° tilt angle has an insolation loss of approximately 0.96%. The soiling effect is present at any tilt angle, but the magnitude is evident: the flatter the solar module is placed the more energy it will lose.

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2011

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Building applied and back insulated photovoltaic modules: thermal models

Description

Building applied photovoltaics (BAPV) is a major application sector for photovoltaics (PV). Due to the negative temperature coefficient of power output, the performance of a PV module decreases as the temperature of the module increases. In hot climatic conditions, such

Building applied photovoltaics (BAPV) is a major application sector for photovoltaics (PV). Due to the negative temperature coefficient of power output, the performance of a PV module decreases as the temperature of the module increases. In hot climatic conditions, such as the summer in Arizona, the operating temperature of a BAPV module can reach as high as 90°C. Considering a typical 0.5%/°C power drop for crystalline silicon (c-Si) modules, a performance decrease of approximately 30% would be expected during peak summer temperatures due to the difference between rated temperature (25°C) and operating temperature (~90°C) of the modules. Also, in a worst-case scenario, such as partial shading of the PV cells of air gap-free BAPV modules, some of the components could attain temperatures that would be high enough to compromise the safety and functionality requirements of the module and its components. Based on the temperature and weather data collected over a year in Arizona, a mathematical thermal model has been developed and presented in this paper to predict module temperature for five different air gaps (0", 1", 2", 3", and 4"). For comparison, modules with a thermally-insulated (R30) back were evaluated to determine the worst-case scenario. This thesis also provides key technical details related to the specially-built, simulated rooftop structure; the mounting configuration of the PV modules on the rooftop structure; the LabVIEW program that was developed for data acquisition and the MATLAB program for developing the thermal models. In order to address the safety issue, temperature test results (obtained in accordance with IEC 61730-2 and UL 1703 safety standards) are presented and analyzed for nine different components of a PV module, i.e., the front glass, substrate/backsheet (polymer), PV cell, j-box ambient, j-box surface, positive terminal, backsheet inside j-box, field wiring, and diode. The temperature test results obtained for about 140 crystalline silicon modules from a large number of manufacturers who tested modules between 2006 and 2009 at ASU/TÜV-PTL were analyzed and presented in this paper under three test conditions, i.e., short-circuit, open-circuit, and short-circuit and shaded. Also, the nominal operating cell temperatures (NOCTs) of the BAPV modules and insulated-back PV modules are presented in this paper for use by BAPV module designers and installers.

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Date Created
2010

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26+ year old photovoltaic power plant: degradation and reliability evaluation of crystalline silicon modules - north array

Description

The object of this study was a 26 year old residential Photovoltaic (PV) monocrystalline silicon (c-Si) power plant, called Solar One, built by developer John F. Long in Phoenix, Arizona (a hot-dry field condition). The task for Arizona State University

The object of this study was a 26 year old residential Photovoltaic (PV) monocrystalline silicon (c-Si) power plant, called Solar One, built by developer John F. Long in Phoenix, Arizona (a hot-dry field condition). The task for Arizona State University Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (ASU-PRL) graduate students was to evaluate the power plant through visual inspection, electrical performance, and infrared thermography. The purpose of this evaluation was to measure and understand the extent of degradation to the system along with the identification of the failure modes in this hot-dry climatic condition. This 4000 module bipolar system was originally installed with a 200 kW DC output of PV array (17 degree fixed tilt) and an AC output of 175 kVA. The system was shown to degrade approximately at a rate of 2.3% per year with no apparent potential induced degradation (PID) effect. The power plant is made of two arrays, the north array and the south array. Due to a limited time frame to execute this large project, this work was performed by two masters students (Jonathan Belmont and Kolapo Olakonu) and the test results are presented in two masters theses. This thesis presents the results obtained on the north array and the other thesis presents the results obtained on the south array. The resulting study showed that PV module design, array configuration, vandalism, installation methods and Arizona environmental conditions have had an effect on this system's longevity and reliability. Ultimately, encapsulation browning, higher series resistance (potentially due to solder bond fatigue) and non-cell interconnect ribbon breakages outside the modules were determined to be the primary causes for the power loss.

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2013

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Potential induced degradation (PID) of pre-stressed photovoltaic modules: effect of glass surface conductivity disruption

Description

Potential induced degradation (PID) due to high system voltages is one of the major degradation mechanisms in photovoltaic (PV) modules, adversely affecting their performance due to the combined effects of the following factors: system voltage, superstrate/glass surface conductivity, encapsulant conductivity,

Potential induced degradation (PID) due to high system voltages is one of the major degradation mechanisms in photovoltaic (PV) modules, adversely affecting their performance due to the combined effects of the following factors: system voltage, superstrate/glass surface conductivity, encapsulant conductivity, silicon nitride anti-reflection coating property and interface property (glass/encapsulant; encapsulant/cell; encapsulant/backsheet). Previous studies carried out at ASU's Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (ASU-PRL) showed that only negative voltage bias (positive grounded systems) adversely affects the performance of commonly available crystalline silicon modules. In previous studies, the surface conductivity of the glass surface was obtained using either conductive carbon layer extending from the glass surface to the frame or humidity inside an environmental chamber. This thesis investigates the influence of glass surface conductivity disruption on PV modules. In this study, conductive carbon was applied only on the module's glass surface without extending to the frame and the surface conductivity was disrupted (no carbon layer) at 2cm distance from the periphery of frame inner edges. This study was carried out under dry heat at two different temperatures (60 °C and 85 °C) and three different negative bias voltages (-300V, -400V, and -600V). To replicate closeness to the field conditions, half of the selected modules were pre-stressed under damp heat for 1000 hours (DH 1000) and the remaining half under 200 hours of thermal cycling (TC 200). When the surface continuity was disrupted by maintaining a 2 cm gap from the frame to the edge of the conductive layer, as demonstrated in this study, the degradation was found to be absent or negligibly small even after 35 hours of negative bias at elevated temperatures. This preliminary study appears to indicate that the modules could become immune to PID losses if the continuity of the glass surface conductivity is disrupted at the inside boundary of the frame. The surface conductivity of the glass, due to water layer formation in a humid condition, close to the frame could be disrupted just by applying a water repelling (hydrophobic) but high transmittance surface coating (such as Teflon) or modifying the frame/glass edges with water repellent properties.

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Date Created
2012

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3D printed glucose monitoring sensor

Description

The American Diabetes Association reports that diabetes costs $322 billion annually and affects 29.1 million Americans. The high out-of-pocket cost of managing diabetes can lead to noncompliance causing serious and expensive complications. There is a large market potential for a

The American Diabetes Association reports that diabetes costs $322 billion annually and affects 29.1 million Americans. The high out-of-pocket cost of managing diabetes can lead to noncompliance causing serious and expensive complications. There is a large market potential for a more cost-effective alternative to the current market standard of screen-printed self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) strips. Additive manufacturing, specifically 3D printing, is a developing field that is growing in popularity and functionality. 3D printers are now being used in a variety of applications from consumer goods to medical devices. Healthcare delivery will change as the availability of 3D printers expands into patient homes, which will create alternative and more cost-effective methods of monitoring and managing diseases, such as diabetes. 3D printing technology could transform this expensive industry. A 3D printed sensor was designed to have similar dimensions and features to the SMBG strips to comply with current manufacturing standards. To make the sensor electrically active, various conductive filaments were tested and the conductive graphene filament was determined to be the best material for the sensor. Experiments were conducted to determine the optimal print settings for printing this filament onto a mylar substrate, the industry standard. The reagents used include a mixture of a ferricyanide redox mediator and flavin adenine dinucleotide dependent glucose dehydrogenase. With these materials, each sensor only costs $0.40 to print and use. Before testing the 3D printed sensor, a suitable design, voltage range, and redox probe concentration were determined. Experiments demonstrated that this novel 3D printed sensor can accurately correlate current output to glucose concentration. It was verified that the sensor can accurately detect glucose levels from 25 mg/dL to 400 mg/dL, with an R2 correlation value as high as 0.97, which was critical as it covered hypoglycemic to hyperglycemic levels. This demonstrated that a 3D-printed sensor was created that had characteristics that are suitable for clinical use. This will allow diabetics to print their own test strips at home at a much lower cost compared to SMBG strips, which will reduce noncompliance due to the high cost of testing. In the future, this technology could be applied to additional biomarkers to measure and monitor other diseases.

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2017

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Characterization and analysis of long term field aged photovoltaic modules and encapsulant materials

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) module degradation is a well-known issue, however understanding the mechanistic pathways in which modules degrade is still a major task for the PV industry. In order to study the mechanisms responsible for PV module degradation, the effects of

Photovoltaic (PV) module degradation is a well-known issue, however understanding the mechanistic pathways in which modules degrade is still a major task for the PV industry. In order to study the mechanisms responsible for PV module degradation, the effects of these degradation mechanisms must be quantitatively measured to determine the severity of each degradation mode. In this thesis multiple modules from three climate zones (Arizona, California and Colorado) were investigated for a single module glass/polymer construction (Siemens M55) to determine the degree to which they had degraded, and the main factors that contributed to that degradation. To explain the loss in power, various nondestructive and destructive techniques were used to indicate possible causes of loss in performance. This is a two-part thesis. Part 1 presents non-destructive test results and analysis and Part 2 presents destructive test results and analysis.

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2015

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Accelerated UV Testing and Characterization of PV Modules with UV-cut and UV-pass EVA Encapsulants

Description

Encapsulant is a key packaging component of photovoltaic (PV) modules, which protects the solar cell from physical, environmental and electrical damages. Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) is one of the major encapsulant materials used in the PV industry. This work focuses on

Encapsulant is a key packaging component of photovoltaic (PV) modules, which protects the solar cell from physical, environmental and electrical damages. Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) is one of the major encapsulant materials used in the PV industry. This work focuses on indoor accelerated ultraviolet (UV) stress testing and characterization to investigate the EVA discoloration and delamination in PV modules by using various non-destructive characterization techniques, including current-voltage (IV) measurements, UV fluorescence (UVf) and colorimetry measurements. Mini-modules with glass/EVA/cell/EVA/backsheet construction were fabricated in the laboratory with two types of EVA, UV-cut EVA (UVC) and UV-pass EVA (UVP).

The accelerated UV testing was performed in a UV chamber equipped with UV lights at an ambient temperature of 50°C, little or no humidity and total UV dosage of 400 kWh/m2. The mini-modules were maintained at three different temperatures through UV light heating by placing different thickness of thermal insulation sheets over the backsheet. Also, prior to thermal insulation sheet placement, the backsheet and laminate edges were fully covered with aluminum tape to prevent oxygen diffusion into the module and hence the photobleaching reaction.

The characterization results showed that mini-modules with UV-cut EVA suffered from discoloration while the modules with UV-pass EVA suffered from delamination. UVf imaging technique has the capability to identify the discoloration region in the UVC modules in the very early stage when the discoloration is not visible to the naked eyes, whereas Isc measurement is unable to measure the performance loss until the color becomes visibly darker. YI also provides the direct evidence of yellowing in the encapsulant. As expected, the extent of degradation due to discoloration increases with the increase in module temperature. The Isc loss is dictated by both the regions – discolored area at the center and non-discolored area at the cell edges, whereas the YI is only determined at the discolored region due to low probe area. This led to the limited correlation between Isc and YI in UVC modules.

In case of UVP modules, UV radiation has caused an adverse impact on the interfacial adhesion between the EVA and solar cell, which was detected from UVf images and severe Isc loss. No change in YI confirms that the reason for Isc loss is not due to yellowing but the delamination.

Further, the activation energy of encapsulant discoloration was estimated by using Arrhenius model on two types of data, %Isc drop and ΔYI. The Ea determined from the change in YI data for the EVA encapsulant discoloration reaction without the influence of oxygen and humidity is 0.61 eV. Based on the activation energy determined in this work and hourly weather data of any site, the degradation rate for the encaspulant browning mode can be estimated.

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2018