Matching Items (37)

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Performance Modeling of a Concentrating Photovoltaic Two-Axis Tracker

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The purpose of this research is to study the effect of angle of acceptance and mechanical control system noise on the power available to a two-axis solar concentrating photovoltaic (CPV)

The purpose of this research is to study the effect of angle of acceptance and mechanical control system noise on the power available to a two-axis solar concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) system. The efficiency of a solar CPV system is greatly dependent on the accuracy of the tracking system because a strong focal point is needed to concentrate incident solar irradiation on the small, high efficiency cells. The objective of this study was to evaluate and quantify tracking accuracy for a performance model which would apply to similar two-axis systems. An analysis comparing CPV to traditional solar photovoltaics from an economic standpoint was conducted as well to evaluate the viability of emerging CPV technology. The research was performed using two calibrated solar radiation sensors mounted on the plane of the tracking system, normal to the sun. One sensor is held at a constant, normal angle (0 degrees) and the other is varied by a known interior angle in the range of 0 degrees to 10 degrees. This was to study the magnitude of the decrease in in irradiance as the angle deviation increases. The results show that, as the interior angle increases, the solar irradiance and thus available power available on the focal point will decrease roughly at a parabolic rate, with a sharp cutoff point at angles greater than 5 degrees. These findings have a significant impact on CPV system tracking mechanisms, which require high precision tracking in order to perform as intended.

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  • 2017-05

All About Solar

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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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  • 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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  • 2017-05

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Silver Recovery from Silver Fluoride Solution for Solar Module Recycling

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As Energy needs grow and photovoltaics expand to meet humanity’s demand for electricity, waste modules will start building up. Tao et. al. propose a recycling process to recover all precious

As Energy needs grow and photovoltaics expand to meet humanity’s demand for electricity, waste modules will start building up. Tao et. al. propose a recycling process to recover all precious solar cell materials, a process estimated to generate a potential $15 billion in revenue by 2050. A key part of this process is metal recovery, and specifically, silver recovery. Silver recovery via electrowinning was studied using a hydrofluoric acid leachate/electrolyte. Bulk electrolysis trials were performed at varied voltages using a silver working electrode, silver pseudo-reference electrode and a graphite counter-electrode. The highest mass recovery achieved was 98.8% which occurred at 0.65 volts. Product purity was below 90% for all trials and coulombic efficiency never reached above 20%. The average energy consumption per gram of reduced silver was 2.16kWh/kg. Bulk electrolysis indicates that parasitic reactions are drawing power from the potentiostat and limiting the mass recovery of the system. In order to develop this process to the practical use stage, parasitic reactions must be eliminated, and product purity and power efficiency must improve. The system should be run in a vacuum environment and the reduction peaks in the cell should be characterized using cyclic voltammetry.

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  • 2020-12

Streamlining Early Stage Photovoltaic Electrical Subcontracting Scope and Pricing

Description

This paper introduces an excel tool created to improve the accuracy of electrical subcontracting prices for solar photovoltaic energy systems while also minimizing the time needed to create these price

This paper introduces an excel tool created to improve the accuracy of electrical subcontracting prices for solar photovoltaic energy systems while also minimizing the time needed to create these price estimations. The need for improved precision, specifically during the early stages of a project, is examined and the paper also goes into detail about the components and pricing method that are incorporated into the excel tool. Lastly, the results of the price estimation tool are compared to real bids and recommendations are made for improvement to the tool.

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  • 2018-05

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Design and Construction of Controlled Back Reflectors for Bifacial Photovoltaic Modules

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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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  • 2018-05

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Theoretical Model of Solar Photovoltaic Air Conditioning with Ice Thermal Storage

Description

An investigation is undertaken of a prototype building-integrated solar photovoltaic-powered thermal storage system and air conditioning unit. The study verifies previous thermodynamic and economic conclusions and provides a more thorough

An investigation is undertaken of a prototype building-integrated solar photovoltaic-powered thermal storage system and air conditioning unit. The study verifies previous thermodynamic and economic conclusions and provides a more thorough analysis. A parameterized model was created for optimization of the system under various conditions. The model was used to evaluate energy and cost savings to determine viability of the system in several circumstances, such as a residence in Phoenix with typical cooling demand. The proposed design involves a modified chest freezer as a thermal storage tank with coils acting as the evaporator for the refrigeration cycle. Surrounding the coils, the tank contains small containers of water for high-density energy storage submerged in a low freezing-point solution of propylene glycol. The cooling power of excess photovoltaic and off-peak grid power that is generated by the air conditioning compressor is stored in the thermal storage tank by freezing the pure water. It is extracted by pumping the glycol across the ice containers and into an air handler to cool the building. Featured results of the modeling include the determination of an optimized system for a super-peak rate plan, grid-connected Phoenix house that has a 4-ton cooling load and requires a corresponding new air conditioner at 4.5 kW of power draw. Optimized for the highest payback over a ten year period, the system should consist of a thermal storage tank containing 454 liters (120 gallons) of water, a 3-ton rated air conditioning unit, requiring 2.7 kW, which is smaller than conventionally needed, and no solar photovoltaic array. The monthly summer savings would be $45.The upfront cost would be $5489, compared to a conventional system upfront cost of $5400, for a payback period of 0.33 years. Over ten years, this system will provide $2600 of savings. To optimize the system for the highest savings over a twenty year period, a thermal storage tank containing 272 liters (72 gallons) of water, a 40-m2 photovoltaic array with 15% efficiency, and a 3.5-ton, 3.1-kW rated air conditioning unit should be installed for an upfront cost of $19,900. This would provide monthly summer savings of $225 and 1062 kWh grid electricity, with a payback period of only 11 years and a total cost savings of $12,300 over twenty years. In comparison, a system with the same size photovoltaic array but without storage would result in a payback period of 16 years. Results are also determined for other cooling requirements and installation sizes, such that the viability of this type of system in different conditions can be discussed. The use of this model for determining the optimized system configuration given different constraints is also described.

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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

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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Towards high-efficiency thin-film solar cells: from theoretical analysis to experimental exploration

Description

GaAs single-junction solar cells have been studied extensively in recent years, and have reached over 28 % efficiency. Further improvement requires an optically thick but physically thin absorber to provide

GaAs single-junction solar cells have been studied extensively in recent years, and have reached over 28 % efficiency. Further improvement requires an optically thick but physically thin absorber to provide both large short-circuit current and high open-circuit voltage. By detailed simulation, it is concluded that ultra-thin GaAs cells with hundreds of nanometers thickness and reflective back scattering can potentially offer efficiencies greater than 30 %. The 300 nm GaAs solar cell with AlInP/Au reflective back scattering is carefully designed and demonstrates an efficiency of 19.1 %. The device performance is analyzed using the semi-analytical model with Phong distribution implemented to account for non-Lambertian scattering. A Phong exponent m of ~12, a non-radiative lifetime of 130 ns, and a specific series resistivity of 1.2 Ω·cm2 are determined.

Thin-film CdTe solar cells have also attracted lots of attention due to the continuous improvements in their device performance. To address the issue of the lower efficiency record compared to detailed-balance limit, the single-crystalline Cd(Zn)Te/MgCdTe double heterostructures (DH) grown on InSb (100) substrates by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) are carefully studied. The Cd0.9946Zn0.0054Te alloy lattice-matched to InSb has been demonstrated with a carrier lifetime of 0.34 µs observed in a 3 µm thick Cd0.9946Zn0.0054Te/MgCdTe DH sample. The substantial improvement of lifetime is due to the reduction in misfit dislocation density. The recombination lifetime and interface recombination velocity (IRV) of CdTe/MgxCd1-xTe DHs are investigated. The IRV is found to be dependent on both the MgCdTe barrier height and width due to the thermionic emission and tunneling processes. A record-long carrier lifetime of 2.7 µs and a record-low IRV of close to zero have been confirmed experimentally.

The MgCdTe/Si tandem solar cell is proposed to address the issue of high manufacturing costs and poor performance of thin-film solar cells. The MBE grown MgxCd1-xTe/MgyCd1-yTe DHs have demonstrated the required bandgap energy of 1.7 eV, a carrier lifetime of 11 ns, and an effective IRV of (1.869 ± 0.007) × 103 cm/s. The large IRV is attributed to thermionic-emission induced interface recombination. These understandings can be applied to fabricating the high-efficiency low-cost MgCdTe/Si tandem solar cell.

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  • 2015

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A single-phase current source solar inverter with constant instantaneous power, improved reliability, and reduced-size DC-link filter

Description

This dissertation presents a novel current source converter topology that is primarily intended for single-phase photovoltaic (PV) applications. In comparison with the existing PV inverter technology, the salient features of

This dissertation presents a novel current source converter topology that is primarily intended for single-phase photovoltaic (PV) applications. In comparison with the existing PV inverter technology, the salient features of the proposed topology are: a) the low frequency (double of line frequency) ripple that is common to single-phase inverters is greatly reduced; b) the absence of low frequency ripple enables significantly reduced size pass components to achieve necessary DC-link stiffness and c) improved maximum power point tracking (MPPT) performance is readily achieved due to the tightened current ripple even with reduced-size passive components. The proposed topology does not utilize any electrolytic capacitors. Instead an inductor is used as the DC-link filter and reliable AC film capacitors are utilized for the filter and auxiliary capacitor. The proposed topology has a life expectancy on par with PV panels. The proposed modulation technique can be used for any current source inverter where an unbalanced three-phase operation is desires such as active filters and power controllers. The proposed topology is ready for the next phase of microgrid and power system controllers in that it accepts reactive power commands. This work presents the proposed topology and its working principle supported by with numerical verifications and hardware results. Conclusions and future work are also presented.

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  • 2013