Matching Items (47)
- Genre: Masters Thesis
- Creators: Rogers, Bradley
- Member of: ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations
- Member of: Theses and Dissertations
Photovoltaic (PV) modules are typically rated at three test conditions: STC (standard test conditions), NOCT (nominal operating cell temperature) and Low E (low irradiance). The current thesis deals with the power rating of PV modules at twenty-three test conditions as per the recent International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard of IEC 61853 – 1. In the current research, an automation software tool developed by a previous researcher of ASU – PRL (ASU Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory) is validated at various stages. Also in the current research, the power rating of PV modules for four different manufacturers is carried out according to IEC 61853 – 1 standard using a new outdoor test method. The new outdoor method described in this thesis is very different from the one reported by a previous researcher of ASU – PRL. The new method was designed to reduce the labor hours in collecting the current-voltage ( I – V) curves at various temperatures and irradiance levels. The power matrices for all the four manufacturers were generated using the I – V data generated at different temperatures and irradiance levels and the translation procedures described in IEC 60891 standard. All the measurements were carried out on both clear and cloudy days using an automated 2 – axis tracker located at ASU – PRL, Mesa, Arizona. The modules were left on the 2 – axis tracker for 12 continuous days and the data was continuously and automatically collected for every two minutes from 6 am to 6 pm. In order to obtain the I – V data at wide range of temperatures and irradiance levels, four identical (or nearly identical) modules were simultaneously installed on the 2 – axis tracker with and without thermal insulators on the back of the modules and with and without mesh screens on the front of the modules. Several issues related to the automation software were uncovered and the required improvement in the software has been suggested. The power matrices for four manufacturers have been successfully generated using the new outdoor test method developed in this work. The data generated in this work has been extensively analyzed for accuracy and for performance efficiency comparison at various temperatures and irradiance levels.
Research was conducted to observe the effect of Number of Transparent Covers and Refractive Index on performance of a domestic Solar Water heating system. The enhancement of efficiency for solar thermal system is an emerging challenge. The knowledge gained from this research will enable to optimize the number of transparent covers and refractive index prior to develop a solar water heater with improved optical efficiency and thermal efficiency for the collector. Numerical simulation is conducted on the performance of the liquid flat plate collector for July 21st and October 21st from 8 am to 4 pm with different refractive index values 1.1, 1.4, 1.7 and different numbers of transparent covers (0-3). In order to accomplish the proposed method the formulation and solutions are executed using simple software MATLAB. The result demonstrates efficiency of flat plate collector increases with the increase of number of covers. The performance of collector decreases when refractive index is higher. The improved useful heat gain is obtained when number of cover used is 3 and refractive index is 1.1.
This is a two-part thesis:
Part 1 characterizes soiling losses using various techniques to understand the effect of soiling on photovoltaic modules. The higher the angle of incidence (AOI), the lower will be the photovoltaic (PV) module performance. Our research group has already reported the AOI investigation for cleaned modules of five different technologies with air/glass interface. However, the modules that are installed in the field would invariably develop a soil layer with varying thickness depending on the site condition, rainfall and tilt angle. The soiled module will have the air/soil/glass interface rather than air/glass interface. This study investigates the AOI variations on soiled modules of five different PV technologies. It is demonstrated that AOI effect is inversely proportional to the soil density. In other words, the power or current loss between clean and soiled modules would be much higher at a higher AOI than at a lower AOI leading to excessive energy production loss of soiled modules on cloudy days, early morning hours and late afternoon hours. Similarly, the spectral influence of soil on the performance of the module was investigated through reflectance and transmittance measurements. It was observed that the reflectance and transmittances losses vary linearly with soil density variation and the 600-700 nm band was identified as an ideal band for soil density measurements.
Part 2 of this thesis performs statistical risk analysis for a power plant through FMECA (Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis) based on non-destructive field techniques and count data of the failure modes. Risk Priority Number is used for the grading guideline for criticality analysis. The analysis was done on a 19-year-old power plant in cold-dry climate to identify the most dominant failure and degradation modes. In addition, a comparison study was done on the current power plant (framed) along with another 18-year-old (frameless) from the same climate zone to understand the failure modes for cold-dry climatic condition.
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.
Human running requires extensive training and conditioning for an individual to maintain high speeds (greater than 10mph) for an extended duration of time. Studies have shown that running at peak speeds generates a high metabolic cost due to the use of large muscle groups in the legs associated with the human gait cycle. Applying supplemental external and internal forces to the human body during the gait cycle has been shown to decrease the metabolic cost for walking, allowing individuals to carry additional weight and walk further distances. Significant research has been conducted to reduce the metabolic cost of walking, however, there are few if any documented studies that focus specifically on reducing the metabolic cost associated with high speed running. Three mechanical systems were designed to work in concert with the human user to decrease metabolic cost and increase the range and speeds at which a human can run.
The methods of design require a focus on mathematical modeling, simulations, and metabolic cost. Mathematical modeling and simulations are used to aid in the design process of robotic systems and metabolic testing is regarded as the final analysis process to determine the true effectiveness of robotic prototypes. Metabolic data, (VO2) is the volumetric consumption of oxygen, per minute, per unit mass (ml/min/kg). Metabolic testing consists of analyzing the oxygen consumption of a test subject while performing a task naturally and then comparing that data with analyzed oxygen consumption of the same task while using an assistive device.
Three devices were designed and tested to augment high speed running. The first device, AirLegs V1, is a mostly aluminum exoskeleton with two pneumatic linear actuators connecting from the lower back directly to the user's thighs, allowing the device to induce a torque on the leg by pushing and pulling on the user's thigh during running. The device also makes use of two smaller pneumatic linear actuators which drive cables connecting to small lever arms at the back of the heel, inducing a torque at the ankles. Device two, AirLegs V2, is also pneumatically powered but is considered to be a soft suit version of the first device. It uses cables to interface the forces created by actuators located vertically on the user's back. These cables then connect to the back of the user's knees resulting in greater flexibility and range of motion of the legs. Device three, a Jet Pack, produces an external force against the user's torso to propel a user forward and upward making it easier to run. Third party testing, pilot demonstrations and timed trials have demonstrated that all three of the devices effectively reduce the metabolic cost of running below that of natural running with no device.
With the need to address the world's growing energy demand, many new
alternative and renewable energy sources are being researched and developed. Many
of these technologies are in their infancy, still being too inefficient or too costly to
implement on a large scale. This list of alternative energies include biofuels,
geothermal power, solar energy, wind energy and hydroelectric power. This thesis
focuses on developing a concentrating solar thermal energy unit for the application
of an on-demand hot water system with phase change material. This system already
has a prototype constructed and needs refinement in several areas in order to
increase its efficiency to determine if the system could ever reach a point of
feasibility in a residential application. Having put additional control refining
systems on the solar water heat collector, it can be deduced that the efficiency has
increased. However, due to limited testing and analysis it is undetermined just how
much the efficiency of the system has increased. At minimum, the capabilities of the
research platform have dramatically increased, allowing future research to more
accurately study the dynamics of the system as well as conduct studies in more
targeted areas of engineering. In this aspect, the thesis was successful.
The complicated, unpredictable, and often chaotic hot water usage pattern of typical households severely limits the effectiveness and efficiency of traditional solar hot water heater systems. Similar to large scale concentrating solar power plants, the use of thermal energy storage techniques to store collected solar energy as latent heat has the potential to improve the efficiency of solar hot water systems. Rather than being used to produce steam to generate electricity, the stored thermal energy would be used to heat water on-demand well after the sun sets. The scope of this thesis was to design, analyze, build, and test a proof of concept prototype for an on-demand solar water heater for residential use with latent heat thermal energy storage. The proof of concept system will be used for future research and can be quickly reconfigured making it ideal for use as a test bed. This thesis outlines the analysis, design, and testing processes used to model, build, and evaluate the performance of the prototype system.
The prototype system developed to complete this thesis was designed using systems engineering principles and consists of several main subsystems. These subsystems include a parabolic trough concentrating solar collector, a phase change material reservoir including heat exchangers, a heat transfer fluid reservoir, and a plumbing system. The system functions by absorbing solar thermal energy in a heat transfer fluid using the solar collector and transferring the absorbed thermal energy to the phase change material for storage. The system was analyzed using a mathematical model created in MATLAB and experimental testing was used to verify that the system functioned as designed. The mathematical model was designed to be adaptable for evaluating different system configurations for future research. The results of the analysis as well as the experimental tests conducted, verify that the proof of concept system is functional and capable of producing hot water using stored thermal energy. This will allow the system to function as a test bed for future research and long-term performance testing to evaluate changes in the performance of the phase change material over time. With additional refinement the prototype system has the potential to be developed into a commercially viable product for use in residential homes.
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.
As the photovoltaic (PV) power plants age in the field, the PV modules degrade and generate visible and invisible defects. A defect and statistical degradation rate analysis of photovoltaic (PV) power plants is presented in two-part thesis. The first part of the thesis deals with the defect analysis and the second part of the thesis deals with the statistical degradation rate analysis. In the first part, a detailed analysis on the performance or financial risk related to each defect found in multiple PV power plants across various climatic regions of the USA is presented by assigning a risk priority number (RPN). The RPN for all the defects in each PV plant is determined based on two databases: degradation rate database; defect rate database. In this analysis it is determined that the RPN for each plant is dictated by the technology type (crystalline silicon or thin-film), climate and age. The PV modules aging between 3 and 19 years in four different climates of hot-dry, hot-humid, cold-dry and temperate are investigated in this study.
In the second part, a statistical degradation analysis is performed to determine if the degradation rates are linear or not in the power plants exposed in a hot-dry climate for the crystalline silicon technologies. This linearity degradation analysis is performed using the data obtained through two methods: current-voltage method; metered kWh method. For the current-voltage method, the annual power degradation data of hundreds of individual modules in six crystalline silicon power plants of different ages is used. For the metered kWh method, a residual plot analysis using Winters’ statistical method is performed for two crystalline silicon plants of different ages. The metered kWh data typically consists of the signal and noise components. Smoothers remove the noise component from the data by taking the average of the current and the previous observations. Once this is done, a residual plot analysis of the error component is performed to determine the noise was successfully separated from the data by proving the noise is random.
Measuring and estimating solar resource availability is critical for assessing new sites for solar energy generation. This includes beam radiation, diffuse radiation, and total incident radiation. Total incident radiation is pertinent to solar photovoltaic (PV) output and low-temperature solar thermal applications whereas beam radiation is used for concentrating solar power (CSP). Global horizontal insolation (GHI) data are most commonly available of any solar radiation measurement, yet these data cannot be directly applied to solar power generator estimation because solar PV panels and solar CSP collectors are not parallel to the earth’s surface. In absence of additional measured data, GHI data may be broken down into its constituent parts—diffuse radiation and beam radiation—using statistical techniques that incorporate explanatory variables such as the clearness index. This study provides a suite of methods and regression models to estimate diffuse radiation as a function of various explanatory variables using both piecewise and continuous fits. Regression analyses using the clearness index are completed for seven locations in the United States and four locations in other regions of the world. The multi-site analysis indicates that models developed using training data for a single location perform best in that location, yet general models can be created that perform reasonably well across any locality and then applied to estimate solar resource availability in new locations around the world. Results from the global and site-specific models perform better than the existing models in literature and indicate that models perform different in different sky conditions e.g. clear or cloudy sky. Results also show that continuous models perform equivalent or better than the piecewise models. Newly generated piecewise models showed improvement over some intervals in the clearness index. A combination of fits from this study and existing literature was used to improve overall performance of modeling techniques used in diffuse radiation estimation. Germany was selected for more detailed studies of a single case study using the clearness index, ambient temperature, relative humidity, and absolute humidity as explanatory variables. Clearness index is the most important variable for diffuse radiation calculation whereas the relative humidity and the temperature are the secondary variable for improving calculation. Absolute humidity plays similar role as temperature in improving the calculation on the other hand relative humidity improves it very slightly over the absolute humidity and temperature.