Matching Items (96)

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Modeling and control for microgrids

Description

Traditional approaches to modeling microgrids include the behavior of each inverter operating in a particular network configuration and at a particular operating point. Such models quickly become computationally intensive for large systems. Similarly, traditional approaches to control do not use

Traditional approaches to modeling microgrids include the behavior of each inverter operating in a particular network configuration and at a particular operating point. Such models quickly become computationally intensive for large systems. Similarly, traditional approaches to control do not use advanced methodologies and suffer from poor performance and limited operating range. In this document a linear model is derived for an inverter connected to the Thevenin equivalent of a microgrid. This model is then compared to a nonlinear simulation model and analyzed using the open and closed loop systems in both the time and frequency domains. The modeling error is quantified with emphasis on its use for controller design purposes. Control design examples are given using a Glover McFarlane controller, gain sched- uled Glover McFarlane controller, and bumpless transfer controller which are compared to the standard droop control approach. These examples serve as a guide to illustrate the use of multi-variable modeling techniques in the context of robust controller design and show that gain scheduled MIMO control techniques can extend the operating range of a microgrid. A hardware implementation is used to compare constant gain droop controllers with Glover McFarlane controllers and shows a clear advantage of the Glover McFarlane approach.

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2013

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Failure and degradation modes of PV modules in a hot dry climate: results after 4 and 12 years of field exposure

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This study evaluates two photovoltaic (PV) power plants based on electrical performance measurements, diode checks, visual inspections and infrared scanning. The purpose of this study is to measure degradation rates of performance parameters (Pmax, Isc, Voc, Vmax, Imax and FF)

This study evaluates two photovoltaic (PV) power plants based on electrical performance measurements, diode checks, visual inspections and infrared scanning. The purpose of this study is to measure degradation rates of performance parameters (Pmax, Isc, Voc, Vmax, Imax and FF) and to identify the failure modes in a "hot-dry desert" climatic condition along with quantitative determination of safety failure rates and reliability failure rates. The data obtained from this study can be used by module manufacturers in determining the warranty limits of their modules and also by banks, investors, project developers and users in determining appropriate financing or decommissioning models. In addition, the data obtained in this study will be helpful in selecting appropriate accelerated stress tests which would replicate the field failures for the new modules and would predict the lifetime for new PV modules. The study was conducted at two, single axis tracking monocrystalline silicon (c-Si) power plants, Site 3 and Site 4c of Salt River Project (SRP). The Site 3 power plant is located in Glendale, Arizona and the Site 4c power plant is located in Mesa, Arizona both considered a "hot-dry" field condition. The Site 3 power plant has 2,352 modules (named as Model-G) which was rated at 250 kW DC output. The mean and median degradation of these 12 years old modules are 0.95%/year and 0.96%/year, respectively. The major cause of degradation found in Site 3 is due to high series resistance (potentially due to solder-bond thermo-mechanical fatigue) and the failure mode is ribbon-ribbon solder bond failure/breakage. The Site 4c power plant has 1,280 modules (named as Model-H) which provide 243 kW DC output. The mean and median degradation of these 4 years old modules are 0.96%/year and 1%/year, respectively. At Site 4c, practically, none of the module failures are observed. The average soiling loss is 6.9% in Site 3 and 5.5% in Site 4c. The difference in soiling level is attributed to the rural and urban surroundings of these two power plants.

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2013

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Synthesis and electrochemical characterization of silicon clathrates as anode materials for lithium ion batteries

Description

Novel materials for Li-ion batteries is one of the principle thrust areas for current research in energy storage, more so than most, considering its widespread use in portable electronic gadgets and plug-in electric and hybrid cars. One of the major

Novel materials for Li-ion batteries is one of the principle thrust areas for current research in energy storage, more so than most, considering its widespread use in portable electronic gadgets and plug-in electric and hybrid cars. One of the major limiting factors in a Li-ion battery's energy density is the low specific capacities of the active materials in the electrodes. In the search for high-performance anode materials for Li-ion batteries, many alternatives to carbonaceous materials have been studied. Both cubic and amorphous silicon can reversibly alloy with lithium and have a theoretical capacity of 3500 mAh/g, making silicon a potential high density anode material. However, a large volume expansion of 300% occurs due to changes in the structure during lithium insertion, often leading to pulverization of the silicon. To this end, a class of silicon based cage compounds called clathrates are studied for electrochemical reactivity with lithium. Silicon-clathrates consist of silicon covalently bonded in cage structures comprised of face sharing Si20, Si24 and/or Si28 clusters with guest ions occupying the interstitial positions in the polyhedra. Prior to this, silicon clathrates have been studied primarily for their superconducting and thermoelectric properties. In this work, the synthesis and electrochemical characterization of two categories of silicon clathrates - Type-I silicon clathrate with aluminum framework substitution and barium guest ions (Ba8AlxSi46-x) and Type-II silicon clathrate with sodium guest ions (Nax Si136), are explored. The Type-I clathrate, Ba8AlxSi46-x consists of an open framework of aluminium and silicon, with barium (guest) atoms occupying the interstitial positions. X-ray diffraction studies have shown that a crystalline phase of clathrate is obtained from synthesis, which is powdered to a fine particle size to be used as the anode material in a Li-ion battery. Electrochemical measurements of these type of clathrates have shown that capacities comparable to graphite can be obtained for up to 10 cycles and lower capacities can be obtained for up to 20 cycles. Unlike bulk silicon, the clathrate structure does not undergo excessive volume change upon lithium intercalation, and therefore, the crystal structure is morphologically stable over many cycles. X-ray diffraction of the clathrate after cycling showed that crystallinity is intact, indicating that the clathrate does not collapse during reversible intercalation with lithium ions. Electrochemical potential spectroscopy obtained from the cycling data showed that there is an absence of formation of lithium-silicide, which is the product of lithium alloying with diamond cubic silicon. Type II silicon clathrate, NaxSi136, consists of silicon making up the framework structure and sodium (guest) atoms occupying the interstitial spaces. These clathrates showed very high capacities during their first intercalation cycle, in the range of 3,500 mAh/g, but then deteriorated during subsequent cycles. X-ray diffraction after one cycle showed the absence of clathrate phase and the presence of lithium-silicide, indicating the disintegration of clathrate structure. This could explain the silicon-like cycling behavior of Type II clathrates.

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2013

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Failure and degradation modes of PV modules in a hot dry climate: results after 16 years of field exposure

Description

This study evaluates two 16 year old photovoltaic power (PV) plants to ascertain degradation rates and various failure modes which occur in a "hot-dry" climate. The data obtained from this study can be used by module manufacturers in determining the

This study evaluates two 16 year old photovoltaic power (PV) plants to ascertain degradation rates and various failure modes which occur in a "hot-dry" climate. The data obtained from this study can be used by module manufacturers in determining the warranty limits of their modules and also by banks, investors, project developers and users in determining appropriate financing or decommissioning models. In addition, the data obtained in this study will be helpful in selecting appropriate accelerated stress tests which would replicate the field failures for the new modules and would predict the lifetime for new PV modules. The two power plants referred to as Site 4A and -4B with (1512 modules each) were initially installed on a single axis tracking system in Gilbert, Arizona for the first seven years and have been operating at their current location in Mesa, Arizona for the last nine years at fixed horizontal tilt Both sites experience hot-dry desert climate. Average degradation rate is 0.85%/year for the best modules and 1.1%/year for all the modules (excluding the safety failed modules). Primary safety failure mode is the backsheet delamination though it is small (less than 1.7%). Primary degradation mode and reliability failure mode may potentially be attributed to encapsulant browning leading to transmittance/current loss and thermo-mechanical solder bond fatigue (cell-ribbon and ribbon-ribbon) leading to series resistance increase. Average soiling loss of horizontal tilt based modules is 11.1%. About 0.5-1.7% of the modules qualify for the safety returns under the typical 20/20 warranty terms, 73-76% of the modules qualify for the warranty claims under the typical 20/20 power warranty terms and 24-26% of the modules are meeting the typical 20/20 power warranty terms.

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2013

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Battery performance and electrode corrosion

Description

Battery performance has been studied at different temperature, C rate. Different types of batteries have been used. Capacity and impedance are two factors, which are focused in the thesis. To evaluate battery performance and battery conditions, the SOC (state of

Battery performance has been studied at different temperature, C rate. Different types of batteries have been used. Capacity and impedance are two factors, which are focused in the thesis. To evaluate battery performance and battery conditions, the SOC (state of charge) determination methods have been studied in the thesis. There are two types of batteries divided in three groups: group I. Ni-Cd battery (2V, 8Ah); group II. Lead-acid battery (2V, 8Ah); and group III. Lead-acid battery (2V, 25Ah). The impedance testing is using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy methods. AC impedance method has been used to test different state of charge (100%, 80%, 60%, 40%, 20%). For the corrosion part, the corrosion rate of metal material in the heat transfer fluids has been tested at different temperature. Hastelloys C-276 in eutectic molten salts a mixture of NaCl, KCl and ZnCl2 using potentiodynamic method (swap from ± 30 mV in 0.2 mV.s-1). The lowest corrosion rate of Hastelloy C-276 is 5.51 µm per year at 250 °C. Particularly, the corrosion rate of Hastelloy C-276 jumps up to 53.33 µm per year at 400 °C.

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2013

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Spatial temperature uniformity and statistical determination of dominant degradation modes in PV modules

Description

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 of this thesis investigates the influence of spatial temperature distribution on the accuracy of performance data of photovoltaic (PV) modules in outdoor conditions and provides physical approaches to improve the spatial temperature distribution of

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 of this thesis investigates the influence of spatial temperature distribution on the accuracy of performance data of photovoltaic (PV) modules in outdoor conditions and provides physical approaches to improve the spatial temperature distribution of the test modules so an accurate performance data can be obtained in the field. Conventionally, during outdoor performance testing, a single thermocouple location is used on the backsheet or back glass of a test module. This study clearly indicates that there is a large spatial temperature difference between various thermocouple locations within a module. Two physical approaches or configurations were experimented to improve the spatial temperature uniformity: thermally insulating the inner and outer surface of the frame; backsheet and inner surface of the frame. All the data were compared with un-insulated conventional configuration. This study was performed in an array setup of six modules under two different preconditioning electrical configurations, Voc and MPPT over several clear sunny days. This investigation concludes that the best temperature uniformity and the most accurate I-V data can be obtained only by thermally insulating the inner and outer frame surfaces or by using the average of four thermocouple temperatures, as specified in IEC 61853-2, without any thermal insulation.

Part 2 of this thesis analyzes the field data obtained from old PV power plants using various statistical techniques to identify the most influential degradation modes on fielded PV modules in two different climates: hot-dry (Arizona); cold-dry (New York). Performance data and visual inspection data of 647 modules fielded in five different power plants were analyzed. Statistical tests including hypothesis testing were carried out to identify the I-V parameter(s) that are affected the most. The affected performance parameters (Isc, Voc, FF and Pmax) were then correlated with the defects to determine the most dominant defect affecting power degradation. Analysis indicates that the cell interconnect discoloration (or solder bond deterioration) is the dominant defect in hot-dry climate leading to series resistance increase and power loss, while encapsulant delamination is being the most dominant defect in cold-dry climate leading to cell mismatch and power loss.

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2015

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Potential materials for fuel cells

Description

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have attracted immense research activities from the inception of the technology due to its high stability and performance capabilities. The major obstacle from commercialization is the cost of the catalyst material in manufacturing the fuel

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have attracted immense research activities from the inception of the technology due to its high stability and performance capabilities. The major obstacle from commercialization is the cost of the catalyst material in manufacturing the fuel cell. In the present study, the major focus in PEMFCs has been in reduction of the cost of the catalyst material using graphene, thin film coated and Organometallic Molecular catalysts. The present research is focused on improving the durability and active surface area of the catalyst materials with low platinum loading using nanomaterials to reduce the effective cost of the fuel cells. Performance, Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, oxygen reduction and surface morphology studies were performed on each manufactured material.

Alkaline fuel cells with anion exchange membrane get immense attention due to very attractive opportunity of using non-noble metal catalyst materials. In the present study, cathodes with various organometallic cathode materials were prepared and investigated for alkaline membrane fuel cells for oxygen reduction and performance studies. Co and Fe Phthalocyanine catalyst materials were deposited on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) support materials. Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) were fabricated using Tokuyama Membrane (#A901) with cathodes containing Co and Fe Phthalocyanine/MWCNTs and Pt/C anodes. Fuel cell performance of the MEAs was examined.

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2014

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Determination of dominant failure modes using combined experimental and statistical methods and selection of best method to calculate degradation rates

Description

This is a two part thesis:

Part 1 of this thesis determines the most dominant failure modes of field aged photovoltaic (PV) modules using experimental data and statistical analysis, FMECA (Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis). The failure and degradation modes

This is a two part thesis:

Part 1 of this thesis determines the most dominant failure modes of field aged photovoltaic (PV) modules using experimental data and statistical analysis, FMECA (Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis). The failure and degradation modes of about 5900 crystalline-Si glass/polymer modules fielded for 6 to 16 years in three different photovoltaic (PV) power plants with different mounting systems under the hot-dry desert climate of Arizona are evaluated. A statistical reliability tool, FMECA that uses Risk Priority Number (RPN) is performed for each PV power plant to determine the dominant failure modes in the modules by means of ranking and prioritizing the modes. This study on PV power plants considers all the failure and degradation modes from both safety and performance perspectives, and thus, comes to the conclusion that solder bond fatigue/failure with/without gridline/metallization contact fatigue/failure is the most dominant failure mode for these module types in the hot-dry desert climate of Arizona.

Part 2 of this thesis determines the best method to compute degradation rates of PV modules. Three different PV systems were evaluated to compute degradation rates using four methods and they are: I-V measurement, metered kWh, performance ratio (PR) and performance index (PI). I-V method, being an ideal method for degradation rate computation, were compared to the results from other three methods. The median degradation rates computed from kWh method were within ±0.15% from I-V measured degradation rates (0.9-1.37 %/year of three models). Degradation rates from the PI method were within ±0.05% from the I-V measured rates for two systems but the calculated degradation rate was remarkably different (±1%) from the I-V method for the third system. The degradation rate from the PR method was within ±0.16% from the I-V measured rate for only one system but were remarkably different (±1%) from the I-V measured rate for the other two systems. Thus, it was concluded that metered raw kWh method is the best practical method, after I-V method and PI method (if ground mounted POA insolation and other weather data are available) for degradation computation as this method was found to be fairly accurate, easy, inexpensive, fast and convenient.

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Date Created
2014

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Performance analysis of solar assisted domestic hot water system

Description

Testing was conducted for a solar assisted water heater and conventional all electric water heater for the purpose of investigating the advantages of utilizing solar energy to heat up water. The testing conducted simulated a four person household living in

Testing was conducted for a solar assisted water heater and conventional all electric water heater for the purpose of investigating the advantages of utilizing solar energy to heat up water. The testing conducted simulated a four person household living in the Phoenix, Arizona region. With sensors and a weather station, data was gathered and analyzed for the water heaters. Performance patterns were observed that correlated to ambient conditions and functionality of the solar assisted water heater. This helped better understand how the solar water heater functioned and how it may continue to function. The testing for the solar assisted water heater was replicated with the all-electric water heater. One to one analyzes was conducted for comparison. The efficiency and advantages were displayed by the solar assisted water heater having a 61% efficiency. Performance parameters were calculated for the solar assisted water heater and it showed how accurate certified standards are. The results showed 8% difference in performance, but differed in energy savings. This further displayed the effects of uncontrollable ambient conditions and the effects of different testing conditions.

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2016

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Assessing outdoor algal cultivation in panel and raceway photobioreactors for biomass and lipid productivity

Description

Over the past decade, there has been a revival in applied algal research and attempts at commercialization. However, the main limitation in algal commercialization is the process of cultivation, which is one of the main cost and energy burdens in

Over the past decade, there has been a revival in applied algal research and attempts at commercialization. However, the main limitation in algal commercialization is the process of cultivation, which is one of the main cost and energy burdens in producing biomass that is economically feasible for different products. There are several parameters that must be considered when growing algae, including the type of growth system and operating mode, preferred organism(s), and many other criteria that affect the process of algal cultivation. The purpose of this dissertation was to assess key variables that affect algal productivity and to improve outdoor algal cultivation procedures. The effect of reducing or eliminating aeration of algal cultures at night, in flat panel photobioreactors (panels), was investigated to assess the reduction of energy consumption at night. The lack of aeration at night resulted in anoxic conditions, which significantly reduced lipid accumulation and productivity, but did not affect log phase biomass productivity. In addition, the reduction in aeration resulted in lower pH values, which prevented ammonia volatility and toxicity. Raceways are operated at deeper cultivation depths, which limit culture density and light exposure. Experimentation was accomplished to determine the effects of decreasing cultivation depth, which resulted in increased lipid accumulation and lipid productivity, but did not significantly affect biomass productivity. A comparison of semi-continuous cultivation of algae in raceways and panels in side-by-side experiments showed that panels provided better temperature control and higher levels of mixing, which resulted in higher biomass productivity. In addition, sub-optimal morning temperatures in raceways compared to panels were a significant factor in reducing algae biomass productivity. The results from this research indicate that increasing lipid productivity and biomass productivity cannot be completed simultaneously. Therefore, the desired product will determine if lipid or biomass productivity is more crucial, which also dictates whether the system should be operated in batch mode to either allow lipid accumulation or in semi-continuous mode to allow high biomass productivity. This work is a critical step in improving algal cultivation by understanding key variables that limit biomass and lipid productivity.

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Date Created
2015