Matching Items (8)
To increase the deployment of photovoltaic (PV) systems, a higher level of performance for PV modules should be sought. Soiling, or dust accumulation on the PV modules, is one of the conditions that negatively affect the performance of the PV modules by reducing the light incident onto the surface of the PV module. This thesis presents two studies that focus on investigating the soiling effect on the performance of the PV modules installed in Metro Phoenix area.
The first study was conducted to investigate the optimum cleaning frequency for cleaning PV modules installed in Mesa, AZ. By monitoring the soiling loss of PV modules mounted on a mock rooftop at ASU-PRL, a detailed soiling modeling was obtained. Same setup was also used for other soiling-related investigations like studying the effect of soiling density on angle of incidence (AOI) dependence, the climatological relevance (CR) to soiling, and spatial variation of the soiling loss. During the first dry season (May to June), the daily soiling rate was found as -0.061% for 20o tilted modules. Based on the obtained soiling rate, cleaning PV modules, when the soiling is just due to dust on 20o tilted residential arrays, was found economically not justifiable.
The second study focuses on evaluating the soiling loss in different locations of Metro Phoenix area of Arizona. The main goal behind the second study was to validate the daily soiling rate obtained from the mock rooftop setup in the first part of this thesis. By collaborating with local solar panel cleaning companies, soiling data for six residential systems in 5 different cities in and around Phoenix was collected, processed, and analyzed. The range of daily soiling rate in the Phoenix area was found as -0.057% to -0.085% for 13-28o tilted arrays. The soiling rate found in the first part of the thesis (-0.061%) for 20o tilted array, was validated since it falls within the range obtained from the second part of the thesis.
Utility scale solar energy is generated by photovoltaic (PV) cell arrays, which are often deployed in remote areas. A PV array monitoring system is considered where smart sensors are attached to the PV modules and transmit data to a monitoring station through wireless links. These smart monitoring devices may be used for fault detection and management of connection topologies. In this thesis, a compact hardware simulator of the smart PV array monitoring system is described. The voltage, current, irradiance, and temperature of each PV module are monitored and the status of each panel along with all data is transmitted to a mobile device. LabVIEW and Arduino board programs have been developed to display and visualize the monitoring data from all sensors. All data is saved on servers and mobile devices and desktops can easily access analytics from anywhere. Various PV array conditions including shading, faults, and loading are simulated and demonstrated.
Additionally, Electrical mismatch between modules in a PV array due to partial shading causes energy losses beyond the shaded module, as unshaded modules are forced to operate away from their maximum power point in order to compensate for the shading. An irradiance estimation algorithm is presented for use in a mismatch mitigation system. Irradiance is estimated using measurements of module voltage, current, and back surface temperature. These estimates may be used to optimize an array’s electrical configuration and reduce the mismatch losses caused by partial shading. Propagation of error in the estimation is examined; it is found that accuracy is sufficient for use in the proposed mismatch mitigation application.
With the application of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in the wastewater treatment and seawater desalination, the limitation of flux and fouling problems of RO have gained more attention from researchers. Because of the tunable structure and physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, it is a suitable material that can be used to incorporate with RO to change the membrane performances. Silver is biocidal, which has been used in a variety of consumer products. Recent studies showed that fabricating silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on membrane surfaces can mitigate the biofouling problem on the membrane. Studies have shown that Ag released from the membrane in the form of either Ag ions or AgNP will accelerate the antimicrobial activity of the membrane. However, the silver release from the membrane will lower the silver loading on the membrane, which will eventually shorten the antimicrobial activity lifetime of the membrane. Therefore, the silver leaching amount is a crucial parameter that needs to be determined for every type of Ag composite membrane.
This study is attempting to compare four different silver leaching test methods, to study the silver leaching potential of the silver impregnated membranes, conducting the advantages and disadvantages of the leaching methods. An In-situ reduction Ag loaded RO membrane was examined in this study. A custom waterjet test was established to create a high-velocity water flow to test the silver leaching from the nanocomposite membrane in a relative extreme environment. The batch leaching test was examined as the most common leaching test method for the silver composite membrane. The cross-flow filtration and dead-end test were also examined to compare the silver leaching amounts.
The silver coated membrane used in this experiment has an initial silver loading of 2.0± 0.51 ug/cm2. The mass balance was conducted for all of the leaching tests. For the batch test, water jet test, and dead-end filtration, the mass balances are all within 100±25%, which is acceptable in this experiment because of the variance of the initial silver loading on the membranes. A bad silver mass balance was observed at cross-flow filtration. Both of AgNP and Ag ions leached in the solution was examined in this experiment. The concentration of total silver leaching into solutions from the four leaching tests are all below the Secondary Drinking Water Standard for silver which is 100 ppb. The cross-flow test is the most aggressive leaching method, which has more than 80% of silver leached from the membrane after 50 hours of the test. The water jet (54 ± 6.9% of silver remaining) can cause higher silver leaching than batch test (85 ± 1.2% of silver remaining) in one-hour, and it can also cause both AgNP and Ag ions leaching from the membrane, which is closer to the leaching condition in the cross-flow test.
The volume of end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) modules is increasing as the global PV market increases, and the global PV waste streams are expected to reach 250,000 metric tons by the end of 2020. If the recycling processes are not in place, there would be 60 million tons of end-of-life PV modules lying in the landfills by 2050, that may not become a not-so-sustainable way of sourcing energy since all PV modules could contain certain amount of toxic substances. Currently in the United States, PV modules are categorized as general waste and can be disposed in landfills. However, potential leaching of toxic chemicals and materials, if any, from broken end-of-life modules may pose health or environmental risks. There is no standard procedure to remove samples from PV modules for chemical toxicity testing in the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) laboratories as per EPA 1311 standard. The main objective of this thesis is to develop an unbiased sampling approach for the TCLP testing of PV modules. The TCLP testing was concentrated only for the laminate part of the modules, as they are already existing recycling technologies for the frame and junction box components of PV modules. Four different sample removal methods have been applied to the laminates of five different module manufacturers: coring approach, cell-cut approach, strip-cut approach, and hybrid approach. These removed samples were sent to two different TCLP laboratories, and TCLP results were tested for repeatability within a lab and reproducibility between the labs. The pros and cons of each sample removal method have been explored and the influence of sample removal methods on the variability of TCLP results has been discussed. To reduce the variability of TCLP results to an acceptable level, additional improvements in the coring approach, the best of the four tested options, are still needed.
Operational efficiency of solar energy farms requires detailed analytics and information on each panel regarding voltage, current, temperature, and irradiance. Monitoring utility-scale solar arrays was shown to minimize the cost of maintenance and help optimize the performance of photovoltaic (PV) arrays under various conditions. This dissertation describes a project that focuses on the development of machine learning and neural network algorithms. It also describes an 18kW solar array testbed for the purpose of PV monitoring and control. The use of the 18kW Sensor Signal and Information Processing (SenSIP) PV testbed which consists of 104 modules fitted with smart monitoring devices (SMDs) is described in detail. Each of the SMDs has embedded, a wireless transceiver, and relays that enable continuous monitoring, fault detection, and real-time connection topology changes. Data is obtained in real time using the SenSIP PV testbed. Machine learning and neural network algorithms for PV fault classification is are studied in depth. More specifically, the development of a series of customized neural networks for detection and classification of solar array faults that include soiling, shading, degradation, short circuits and standard test conditions is considered. The evaluation of fault detection and classification methods using metrics such as accuracy, confusion matrices, and the Risk Priority Number (RPN) is performed. The examination and assessment the classification performance of customized neural networks with dropout regularizers is presented in detail. The development and evaluation of neural network pruning strategies and illustration of the trade-off between fault classification model accuracy and algorithm complexity is studied. This study includes data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) database and also real-time data collected from the SenSIP testbed at MTW under various loading and shading conditions. The overall approach for detection and classification promises to elevate the performance and robustness of PV arrays.
Large number of renewable energy based distributed energy resources(DERs) are integrated into the conventional power grid using power electronic interfaces. This causes increased need for efficient power conversion, advanced control, and DER situational awareness. In case of photovoltaic(PV) grid integration, power is processed in two stages, namely DC-DC and DC-AC. In this work, two novel soft-switching schemes for quadratic boost DC-DC converters are proposed for PV microinverter application. Both the schemes allow the converter to operate at higher switching frequency, reducing the converter size while still maintaining high power conversion efficiency. Further, to analyze the impact of high penetration DERs on the power system a real-time simulation platform has been developed in this work. A real, large distribution feeder with more than 8000 buses is considered for investigation. The practical challenges in the implementation of a real-time simulation (such as number of buses, simulation time step, and computational burden) and the corresponding solutions are discussed. The feeder under study has a large number of DERs leading to more than 200% instantaneous PV penetration. Opal-RT ePHASORSIM model of the distribution feeder and different types of DER models are discussed in detailed in this work. A novel DER-Edge-Cloud based three-level architecture is proposed for achieving solar situational awareness for the system operators and for real-time control of DERs. This is accomplished using a network of customized edge-intelligent-devices(EIDs) and end-to-end solar energy optimization platform(eSEOP). The proposed architecture attains superior data resolution, data transfer rate and low latency for the end-to-end communication. An advanced PV string inverter with control and communication capabilities exceeding those of state-of-the-art, commercial inverters has been developed to demonstrate the proposed real-time control. A power-hardware-in-loop(PHIL) and EID-in-loop(EIL) testbeds are developed to verify the impact of large number of controllable DERs on the distribution system under different operational modes such as volt-VAr, constant reactive power and constant power factor. Edge level data analytics and intelligent controls such as autonomous reactive power allocation strategy are implemented using EIL testbed for real-time monitoring and control. Finally, virtual oscillator control(VOC) for grid forming inverters and its operation under different X/R conditions are explored.
In the current photovoltaic (PV) industry, the O&M (operations and maintenance) personnel in the field primarily utilize three approaches to identify the underperforming or defective modules in a string: i) EL (electroluminescence) imaging of all the modules in the string; ii) IR (infrared) thermal imaging of all the modules in the string; and, iii) current-voltage (I-V) curve tracing of all the modules in the string. In the first and second approaches, the EL images are used to detect the modules with broken cells, and the IR images are used to detect the modules with hotspot cells, respectively. These two methods may identify the modules with defective cells only semi-qualitatively, but not accurately and quantitatively. The third method, I-V curve tracing, is a quantitative method to identify the underperforming modules in a string, but it is an extremely time consuming, labor-intensive, and highly ambient conditions dependent method. Since the I-V curves of individual modules in a string are obtained by disconnecting them individually at different irradiance levels, module operating temperatures, angle of incidences (AOI) and air-masses/spectra, all these measured curves are required to be translated to a single reporting condition (SRC) of a single irradiance, single temperature, single AOI and single spectrum. These translations are not only time consuming but are also prone to inaccuracy due to inherent issues in the translation models. Therefore, the current challenges in using the traditional I-V tracers are related to: i) obtaining I-V curves simultaneously of all the modules and substrings in a string at a single irradiance, operating temperature, irradiance spectrum and angle of incidence due to changing weather parameters and sun positions during the measurements, ii) safety of field personnel when disconnecting and reconnecting of cables in high voltage systems (especially field aged connectors), and iii) enormous time and hardship for the test personnel in harsh outdoor climatic conditions. In this thesis work, a non-contact I-V (NCIV) curve tracing tool has been integrated and implemented to address the above mentioned three challenges of the traditional I-V tracers.
This work compares I-V curves obtained using a traditional I-V curve tracer with the I-V curves obtained using a NCIV curve tracer for the string, substring and individual modules of crystalline silicon (c-Si) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) technologies. The NCIV curve tracer equipment used in this study was integrated using three commercially available components: non-contact voltmeters (NCV) with voltage probes to measure the voltages of substrings/modules in a string, a hall sensor to measure the string current and a DAS (data acquisition system) for simultaneous collection of the voltage data obtained from the NCVs and the current data obtained from the hall sensor. This study demonstrates the concept and accuracy of the NCIV curve tracer by comparing the I-V curves obtained using a traditional capacitor-based tracer and the NCIV curve tracer in a three-module string of c-Si modules and of CdTe modules under natural sunlight with uniform light conditions on all the modules in the string and with partially shading one or more of the modules in the string to simulate and quantitatively detect the underperforming module(s) in a string.
The goal of any solar photovoltaic (PV) system is to generate maximum energy throughout its lifetime. The parameters that can affect PV module power output include: solar irradiance, temperature, soil accumulation, shading, encapsulant browning, encapsulant delamination, series resistance increase due to solder bond degradation and corrosion and shunt resistance decrease due to potential induced degradation, etc. Several PV modules together in series makes up a string, and in a power plant there are a number of these strings in parallel which can be referred to as an array. Ideally, PV modules in a string should be identically matched to attain maximum power output from the entire string. Any underperforming module or mismatch among modules within a string can reduce the power output. The goal of this project is to quickly identify and quantitatively determine the underperforming module(s) in an operating string without the use of an I-V curve tracer, irradiance sensor or temperature sensor. This goal was achieved by utilizing Radiovoltmeters (RVM). In this project, it is demonstrated that the voltages at maximum power point (Vmax) of all the individual modules in a string can be simultaneously and quantitatively obtained using RVMs at a single irradiance, single module operating temperature, single spectrum and single angle of incidence. By combining these individual module voltages (Vmax) with the string current (Imax) using a Hall sensor, the power output of individual modules can be obtained, quickly and quantitatively.