Matching Items (29)

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The Water Loss and Solar Panel Operating Condition Effects of Using Solar Photovoltaic Panels to Shade a Body of Water

Description

Ensuring that people across the globe have enough water and electricity are two large issues that continue to grow. This study performs a test on whether using solar photovoltaic modules to shade water can potentially help diminish the issues

Ensuring that people across the globe have enough water and electricity are two large issues that continue to grow. This study performs a test on whether using solar photovoltaic modules to shade water can potentially help diminish the issues of water and power. Using the setup of a PV module shading water, a stand-alone PV module, and unshaded water, it was found that shading water can reduce evaporation and lower PV module operating temperature at the same time. Using averaged data from two days of testing, the volume per unit surface area of water that evaporated per hour was 0.319 cm3/cm2 less for the shaded water compared to the unshaded water. The evaporation rates found in the experiment are compared to those of Lake Mead to see the amount of water lost on a large scale. For the operating temperature of the PV module, the module used for shading had a consistently lower temperature than the stand-alone module. On the first day, the shading module had an average temperature 5.1 C lower than the stand-alone module average temperature. On day two, the shading module had an average temperature 3.4 C lower than the stand-alone module average temperature. Using average temperatures between the two days from 10:30am and 4:45pm, the average daily temperature of the panel used for shading was 4.5C less than the temperature of the stand-alone panel. These results prove water shading by solar PV modules to be effective in reducing evaporation and lowering module operating temperature. Last, suggestions for future studies are discussed, such as performance analysis of the PV modules in this setting, economic analysis of using PV modules as shading, and the isolation of the different factors of evaporation (temperature, wind speed, and humidity).

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2019-05

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One-dimensional fast transient simulator for modeling CdS/CdTe solar cells

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Solar energy, including solar heating, solar architecture, solar thermal electricity and solar photovoltaics, is one of the primary energy sources replacing fossil fuels. Being one of the most important techniques, significant research has been conducted in solar cell efficiency improvement.

Solar energy, including solar heating, solar architecture, solar thermal electricity and solar photovoltaics, is one of the primary energy sources replacing fossil fuels. Being one of the most important techniques, significant research has been conducted in solar cell efficiency improvement. Simulation of various structures and materials of solar cells provides a deeper understanding of device operation and ways to improve their efficiency. Over the last two decades, polycrystalline thin-film Cadmium-Sulfide and Cadmium-Telluride (CdS/CdTe) solar cells fabricated on glass substrates have been considered as one of the most promising candidate in the photovoltaic technologies, for their similar efficiency and low costs when compared to traditional silicon-based solar cells. In this work a fast one dimensional time-dependent/steady-state drift-diffusion simulator, accelerated by adaptive non-uniform mesh and automatic time-step control, for modeling solar cells has been developed and has been used to simulate a CdS/CdTe solar cell. These models are used to reproduce transients of carrier transport in response to step-function signals of different bias and varied light intensity. The time-step control models are also used to help convergence in steady-state simulations where constrained material constants, such as carrier lifetimes in the order of nanosecond and carrier mobility in the order of 100 cm2/Vs, must be applied.

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2013

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Growth and characterization of novel thin films for microelectronic applications

Description

I studied the properties of novel Co2FeAl0.5Si0.5 (CFAS), ZnGeAs2, and FeS2 (pyrite) thin films for microelectronic applications ranging from spintronic to photovoltaic. CFAS is a half metal with theoretical spin polarization of 100%. I investigated its potential as a spin

I studied the properties of novel Co2FeAl0.5Si0.5 (CFAS), ZnGeAs2, and FeS2 (pyrite) thin films for microelectronic applications ranging from spintronic to photovoltaic. CFAS is a half metal with theoretical spin polarization of 100%. I investigated its potential as a spin injector, for spintronic applications, by studying the critical steps involved in the injection of spin polarized electron populations from tunnel junctions containing CFAS electrodes. Epitaxial CFAS thin films with L21 structure and saturation magnetizations of over 1200 emu/cm3 were produced by optimization of the sputtering growth conditions. Point contact Andreev reflection measurements show that the spin polarization at the CFAS electrode surface exceeds 70%. Analyses of the electrical properties of tunnel junctions with a superconducting Pb counter-electrode indicate that transport through native Al oxide barriers is mostly from direct tunneling, while that through the native CFAS oxide barriers is not. ZnGeAs2 is a semiconductor comprised of only inexpensive and earth-abundant elements. The electronic structure and defect properties are similar in many ways to GaAs. Thus, in theory, efficient solar cells could be made with ZnGeAs2 if similar quality material to that of GaAs could be produced. To understand the thermochemistry and determine the rate limiting steps of ZnGeAs2 thin-film synthesis, the (a) thermal decomposition rate and (b) elemental composition and deposition rate of films were measured. It is concluded that the ZnGeAs2 thin film synthesis is a metastable process with an activation energy of 1.08±0.05 eV for the kinetically-limited decomposition rate and an evaporation coefficient of ~10-3. The thermochemical analysis presented here can be used to predict optimal conditions of ZnGeAs2 physical vapor deposition and thermal processing. Pyrite (FeS2) is another semiconductor that has tremendous potential for use in photovoltaic applications if high quality materials could be made. Here, I present the layer-by-layer growth of single-phase pyrite thin-films on heated substrates using sequential evaporation of Fe under high-vacuum followed by sulfidation at S pressures between 1 mTorr and 1 Torr. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy reveals high-quality, defect-free pyrite grains were produces by this method. It is demonstrated that epitaxial pyrite layer was produced on natural pyrite substrates with this method.

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2013

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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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Impact of distributed photovoltaic generation and customer loads on power quality of a distribution system

Description

There has been a considerable growth in distributed photovoltaic (PV) genera-tion and its integration in electric power distribution systems. This has led to a change in the distribution system infrastructure. Properly planned distributed gen-eration can offer a variety of benefits

There has been a considerable growth in distributed photovoltaic (PV) genera-tion and its integration in electric power distribution systems. This has led to a change in the distribution system infrastructure. Properly planned distributed gen-eration can offer a variety of benefits for system operations and enhance opera-tional performance of the distribution system. However, high penetration of PV resources can give rise to operating conditions which do not arise in traditional systems and one of the potential issues that needs to be addressed involves impact on power quality of the system with respect to the spectral distortion in voltages and currents.

The test bed feeder model representing a real operational distribution feeder is developed in OpenDSS and the feeder modeling takes into consideration the ob-jective of analysis and frequency of interest. Extensive metering infrastructure and measurements are utilized for validation of the model at harmonic frequencies. The harmonic study performed is divided into two sections: study of impact of non-linear loads on total harmonic voltage and current distortions and study of impact of PV resources on high frequency spectral distortion in voltages and cur-rents. The research work incorporates different harmonic study methodologies such as harmonic and high frequency power flow, and frequency scan study. The general conclusions are presented based on the simulation results and in addition, scope for future work is discussed.

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2014

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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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Date Created
2011

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First-principles study of thermodynamic properties in thin-film photovoltaics

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This thesis focuses on the theoretical work done to determine thermodynamic properties of a chalcopyrite thin-film material for use as a photovoltaic material in a tandem device. The material of main focus here is ZnGeAs2, which was chosen for the

This thesis focuses on the theoretical work done to determine thermodynamic properties of a chalcopyrite thin-film material for use as a photovoltaic material in a tandem device. The material of main focus here is ZnGeAs2, which was chosen for the relative abundance of constituents, favorable photovoltaic properties, and good lattice matching with ZnSnP2, the other component in this tandem device. This work is divided into two main chapters, which will cover: calculations and method to determine the formation energy and abundance of native point defects, and a model to calculate the vapor pressure over a ternary material from first-principles. The purpose of this work is to guide experimental work being done in tandem to synthesize ZnGeAs2 in thin-film form with high enough quality such that it can be used as a photovoltaic. Since properties of photovoltaic depend greatly on defect concentrations and film quality, a theoretical understanding of how laboratory conditions affect these properties is very valuable. The work done here is from first-principles and utilizes density functional theory using the local density approximation. Results from the native point defect study show that the zinc vacancy (VZn) and the germanium antisite (GeZn) are the more prominent defects; which most likely produce non-stoichiometric films. The vapor pressure model for a ternary system is validated using known vapor pressure for monatomic and binary test systems. With a valid ternary system vapor pressure model, results show there is a kinetic barrier to decomposition for ZnGeAs2.

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Date Created
2011

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Investigation of 1,900 individual field aged photovoltaic modules for potential induced degradation (PID) in a positive biased power plant

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) modules undergo performance degradation depending on climatic conditions, applications, and system configurations. The performance degradation prediction of PV modules is primarily based on Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) procedures. In order to further strengthen the ALT process, additional investigation

Photovoltaic (PV) modules undergo performance degradation depending on climatic conditions, applications, and system configurations. The performance degradation prediction of PV modules is primarily based on Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) procedures. In order to further strengthen the ALT process, additional investigation of the power degradation of field aged PV modules in various configurations is required. A detailed investigation of 1,900 field aged (12-18 years) PV modules deployed in a power plant application was conducted for this study. Analysis was based on the current-voltage (I-V) measurement of all the 1,900 modules individually. I-V curve data of individual modules formed the basis for calculating the performance degradation of the modules. The percentage performance degradation and rates of degradation were compared to an earlier study done at the same plant. The current research was primarily focused on identifying the extent of potential induced degradation (PID) of individual modules with reference to the negative ground potential. To investigate this, the arrangement and connection of the individual modules/strings was examined in detail. The study also examined the extent of underperformance of every series string due to performance mismatch of individual modules in that string. The power loss due to individual module degradation and module mismatch at string level was then compared to the rated value.

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2011

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Environmental, policy and social analysis of photovoltaic technologies

Description

Many expect renewable energy technologies to play a leading role in a sustainable energy supply system and to aid the shift away from an over-reliance on traditional hydrocarbon resources in the next few decades. This dissertation develops environmental, policy and

Many expect renewable energy technologies to play a leading role in a sustainable energy supply system and to aid the shift away from an over-reliance on traditional hydrocarbon resources in the next few decades. This dissertation develops environmental, policy and social models to help understand various aspects of photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The first part of this dissertation advances the life cycle assessment (LCA) of PV systems by expanding the boundary of included processes using hybrid LCA and accounting for the technology-driven dynamics of environmental impacts. Hybrid LCA extends the traditional method combining bottom-up process-sum and top-down economic input-output (EIO) approaches. The embodied energy and carbon of multi-crystalline silicon photovoltaic systems are assessed using hybrid LCA. From 2001 to 2010, the embodied energy and carbon fell substantially, indicating that technological progress is realizing reductions in environmental impacts in addition to lower module price. A variety of policies support renewable energy adoption, and it is critical to make them function cooperatively. To reveal the interrelationships among these policies, the second part of this dissertation proposes three tiers of policy architecture. This study develops a model to determine the specific subsidies required to support a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal. The financial requirements are calculated (in two scenarios) and compared with predictable funds from public sources. A main result is that the expected investments to achieve the RPS goal far exceed the economic allocation for subsidy of distributed PV. Even with subsidies there are often challenges with social acceptance. The third part of this dissertation originally develops a fuzzy logic inference model to relate consumers' attitudes about the technology such as perceived cost, maintenance, and environmental concern to their adoption intention. Fuzzy logic inference model is a type of soft computing models. It has the advantage of dealing with imprecise and insufficient information and mimicking reasoning processes of human brains. This model is implemented in a case study of residential PV adoption using data through a survey of homeowners in Arizona. The output of this model is the purchasing probability of PV.

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2010

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Building applied photovoltaic array: thermal modeling and fan cooling

Description

Thermal modeling and investigation into heat extraction methods for building-applied photovoltaic (BAPV) systems have become important for the industry in order to predict energy production and lower the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of generating electricity from these types of systems.

Thermal modeling and investigation into heat extraction methods for building-applied photovoltaic (BAPV) systems have become important for the industry in order to predict energy production and lower the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of generating electricity from these types of systems. High operating temperatures have a direct impact on the performance of BAPV systems and can reduce power output by as much as 10 to 20%. The traditional method of minimizing the operating temperature of BAPV modules has been to include a suitable air gap for ventilation between the rooftop and the modules. There has been research done at Arizona State University (ASU) which investigates the optimum air gap spacing on sufficiently spaced (2-6 inch vertical; 2-inch lateral) modules of four columns. However, the thermal modeling of a large continuous array (with multiple modules of the same type and size and at the same air gap) had yet to be done at ASU prior to this project. In addition to the air gap effect analysis, the industry is exploring different ways of extracting the heat from PV modules including hybrid photovoltaic-thermal systems (PV/T). The goal of this project was to develop a thermal model for a small residential BAPV array consisting of 12 identical polycrystalline silicon modules at an air gap of 2.5 inches from the rooftop. The thermal model coefficients are empirically derived from a simulated field test setup at ASU and are presented in this thesis. Additionally, this project investigates the effects of cooling the array with a 40-Watt exhaust fan. The fan had negligible effect on power output or efficiency for this 2.5-inch air gap array, but provided slightly lower temperatures and better temperature uniformity across the array.

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Date Created
2010