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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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Effects of rooftop photovoltaics on building cooling demand and ambient air

Description

Photovoltaic panels are commonly used for their versatility in on-site generation of clean electricity in urban environments, specifically on rooftops. However, their implementation on rooftops poses potential (positive and negative) impacts on the energy use of buildings, and urban climates.

Photovoltaic panels are commonly used for their versatility in on-site generation of clean electricity in urban environments, specifically on rooftops. However, their implementation on rooftops poses potential (positive and negative) impacts on the energy use of buildings, and urban climates. The negative impacts are compounded if PV is installed on top of a high-albedo rooftop. This study quantitively investigates these impacts from PV installation on top of a building with a white roof in Phoenix, AZ. We supplemented our measurements with EnergyPlus simulations to model the energy implications for archetypical residential and retail buildings and calculated the energy penalty to generation ratio as well as sensible heat flux for each combination of panel height and building type. Results indicate that the daily cooling energy penalty to due blockage of outgoing longwave radiation can be 4.9—11.2% of the PV generation. In addition, while we observed a small decrease in nighttime sensible heat flux to the ambient, PV cases increased the daytime heat flux by more than a factor of 10. This study highlights the potential unintended consequences of rooftop PV under certain conditions and provides a broader perspective for building designers and urban planners.

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2019-05

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Reducing The Scale of Steam Generators in Pressurized Water Reactors

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Nuclear power has recently experienced a resurgence in interest due to its ability to generate significant amounts of relatively clean energy. However, the overall size of nuclear power plants still poses a problem to future advancements. The bulkiness of components

Nuclear power has recently experienced a resurgence in interest due to its ability to generate significant amounts of relatively clean energy. However, the overall size of nuclear power plants still poses a problem to future advancements. The bulkiness of components in the plant contribute to longer construction times, higher building and maintenance costs, and the isolation of nuclear plants from populated areas. The goal of this project was to analyze the thermal performance of nanocrystalline copper tantalum (NC Cu-Ta) inside the steam generator of a pressurized water reactor to see how much the size of these units could be reduced without affecting the amount of heat transferred through it. The analysis revealed that using this material, with its higher thermal conductivity than the traditional Inconel Alloy 600 that is typically used in steam generators, it is possible to reduce the height of a steam generator from 21 meters to about 18.6 meters, signifying a 11.6% reduction in height. This analysis also revealed a diminishing return that occurs with increasing the thermal conductivity on both reducing the required heat transfer area and increasing the overall heat transfer coefficient.

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2019-05

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Experimental Measurements of Power Output of a Cu/Cu2+ Thermogalvanic Brick using Effective Electrode Surface Area Alterations

Description

The research analyzes the transformation of wasted thermal energy into a usable form through thermogalvanic devices. This technology helps mitigate international growing energy demands. Building energy efficiency is a critical research topic, since the loads account for 40% of all

The research analyzes the transformation of wasted thermal energy into a usable form through thermogalvanic devices. This technology helps mitigate international growing energy demands. Building energy efficiency is a critical research topic, since the loads account for 40% of all energy demand in developed nations, and 30% in less developed nations. A significant portion of the energy consumed for heating and cooling, where a majority is dissipated to the ambient as waste heat. This research answers how much power output (µW·cm-2) can the thermogalvanic brick experimentally produce from an induced temperature gradient? While there are multiple avenues for the initial and optimized prototype design, one key area of interest relating to thermogalvanic devices is the effective surface area of the electrodes. This report highlights the experimental power output measurements of a Cu/Cu2+ thermogalvanic brick by manipulating the effective surface area of the electrodes. Across three meshes, the maximum power output normalized for temperature was found to be between 2.13-2.87 x 10-3 μWcm-2K-2. The highest normalized power output corresponded to the mesh with the highest effective surface area, which was classified as the fine mesh. This intuitively aligned with the theoretical understanding of surface area and maximum power output, where decreasing the activation resistance also reduces the internal resistance, which increases the theoretical maximum power.

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2019-05

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LCOE Analyis of Solar Panel Recycling Methods

Description

Solar panels need to be both cost effective and environmentally friendly to compete with traditional energy forms. Photovoltaic recycling has the potential to mitigate the harm of waste, which is often landfilled, while putting material back into the manufacturing process.

Solar panels need to be both cost effective and environmentally friendly to compete with traditional energy forms. Photovoltaic recycling has the potential to mitigate the harm of waste, which is often landfilled, while putting material back into the manufacturing process. Out of many, three methods show much promise: Full Recovery End-of-Life Photovoltaic (FRELP), mechanical, and sintering-based recycling. FRELP recycling has quickly gained prominence in Europe and promises to fully recover the components in a solar cell. The mechanical method has produced high yields of valuable materials using basic and inexpensive processes. The sintering method has the potential to tap into a large market for feldspar. Using a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) analysis, the three methods could be compared on an economic basis. This showed that the mechanical method is least expensive, and the sintering method is the most expensive. Using this model, all recycling methods are less cost effective than the control analysis without recycling. Sensitivity analyses were then done on the effect of the discount rate, capacity factor, and lifespan on the LCOE. These results showed that the change in capacity factor had the most significant effect on the levelized cost of electricity. A final sensitivity analysis was done based on the decreased installation and balance of systems costs in 2025. With a 55% decrease in these costs, the LCOE decreased by close to $0.03/kWh for each method. Based on these results, the cost of each recycling method would be a more considerable proportion of the overall LCOE of the solar farm.

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2018-05

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E-bike Retrofitting Kit

Description

The goal of this honors thesis creative project was to design, manufacture and test a retrofitted E-bike kit that met certain stated design objections. To design a successful E-bike kit, the needs of the customer were researched and turned into

The goal of this honors thesis creative project was to design, manufacture and test a retrofitted E-bike kit that met certain stated design objections. To design a successful E-bike kit, the needs of the customer were researched and turned into measurable engineering requirements. For the biker, these requirements are speed, range, cost and simplicity. The approach is outlined similarly to the capstone program here at ASU. There is an introduction in sections 1 and 2 which gives the motivation and an overview of the project done. In section 3, the voice of the customer is discussed and converted into requirements. In sections 4, 5,6,7 and 8 the design process is described. Section 4 is the conceptual design where multiple concepts are narrowed down to one design. Section 5 is the preliminary design, where the design parts are specified and optimized to fit requirements. Section 6 is fabrication and assembly which gives details into how the product was manufactured and built. Sections 7 and 8 are the testing and validation sections where tests were carried out to verify that the requirements were met. Sections 9 and 10 were part of the conclusion in which recommendations and the project conclusions are depicted. In general, I produced a successful prototype. Each phase of the design came with its own issues and solutions but in the end a functioning bike was delivered. There were a few design options considered before selecting the final design. The rear-drive friction design was selected based on its price, simplicity and performance. The design was optimized in the preliminary design phase and items were purchased. The purchased items were either placed on the bike directly or had to be manufactured in some way. Once the assembly was completed, testing and validation took place to verify that the design met the requirements. Unfortunately, the prototype did not meet all the requirements. The E-bike had a maximum speed of 14.86 mph and a range of 12.75 miles which were below the performance requirements of 15 mph and 15 miles. The cost was $41.67 over the goal of $300 although the total costs remained under budget. At the end of the project, I delivered a functioning E-bike retrofitting kit on the day of the defense. While it did not meet the requirements fully, there was much room for improvement and optimization within the design.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Balance of System Cost Analysis to Investigate Future Economic Competitiveness of Tandem Solar Cells

Description

As single junction silicon based solar cells approach their Shockley\u2014Queasier (SQ) conversion efficiency limits, tandem solar cells (TSC) provide an attractive prospect for higher efficiency cells. Although TSCs have been shown to be more efficient, their higher fabrication costs are

As single junction silicon based solar cells approach their Shockley\u2014Queasier (SQ) conversion efficiency limits, tandem solar cells (TSC) provide an attractive prospect for higher efficiency cells. Although TSCs have been shown to be more efficient, their higher fabrication costs are a limiting factor for their economic competitiveness and large-scale integration in PV power systems. Current literature suggests that even with reduced costs of fabrication in the future, TSCs still offer no competitive benefit for integration in utility-scale systems and may yield minimal benefits only in places where area-related costs are high. This work investigates Balance of Systems (BoS) circumstances under which TSCs can attain economic viability in scenarios where the necessary technological advances are made to increase the efficiency of solar cells beyond the SQ limit.

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2017-05

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Electrode Surface Area Roughness Effect on Power Output of Thermogalvanic Cells

Description

This paper presents an experimental investigation into the effects of altering electrode surface area roughness on thermogalvanic cell performance. A temperature difference between two electrodes was induced and brought to steady state to achieve a difference of around 50 °C,

This paper presents an experimental investigation into the effects of altering electrode surface area roughness on thermogalvanic cell performance. A temperature difference between two electrodes was induced and brought to steady state to achieve a difference of around 50 °C, which was maintained with a DC power generated hot wire and a pumped ice bath. The open-circuit voltage values at steady-state were measured by a programed multimeter and the temperatures were measured by a series of type K thermocouples. Electrode surface area roughness was altered using different grit values of sandpaper and measuring the values using a Zescope Optical Profilometer. Once three different surface area average values were achieved, 6 trials were performed with 2 trials per roughness value. The results were tabulated in Section 4 of this report.
It was predicted that increasing the surface area roughness would increase the number of electrons present in the reduction oxidation reaction and decrease the activation resistance of the thermogalvanic system. Decreasing the activation resistance, a component of total internal resistance, would therefore increase the power output of the cell by a small magnitude. The results showed that changing the surface area roughness of the Copper electrodes evidently had no effect on the outputs of the cell system. Additionally, the Seebeck coefficient was also unaffected by the presence of increased surface area roughness.
The work presented in the following paper is part of a continuing effort to better understand the performance of thermogalvanic cells and their heat to electrical energy transfer properties.

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2017-05

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Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Copper Slag Concrete

Description

In this investigation, copper slag was used as a coarse aggregate in four different mixes of concrete, consisting of 0%, 25%, 50%, and 100% copper slag by volume. Locally available Salt river aggregate was used as a control, and mixes

In this investigation, copper slag was used as a coarse aggregate in four different mixes of concrete, consisting of 0%, 25%, 50%, and 100% copper slag by volume. Locally available Salt river aggregate was used as a control, and mixes were tested for density, strength, thermal conductivity, specific heat capacity, and thermal diffusivity. Density was shown to increase with increasing copper slag content, increasing an average of 2298 kg/m^3, 2522 kg/m^3, and 2652 kg/m^3 in the 25%, 50%, and 100% mixes. This represents a 15% increase in density from 0% to 100%. Compressive strength testing indicated that the presence of copper slag in concrete provides no definitive strength benefit over Salt River aggregate. This result was expected, as concrete's strength is primarily derived from the cement matrix and not the aggregate. Thermal conductivity showed a decreasing trend with increasing copper slag content. Th control mix had an average conductivity of 0.660 W/m*K, and the 25%, 50%, and 100% mixes had conductivities of 0.649 W/m*K, 0.647 W/m*K, and 0.519 W/m*K, respectively. This represents 21% drop in thermal conductivity over the control. This result was also expected, as materials formed at higher temperatures, like copper slag, tend to have lower thermal conductivities. Specific heat capacity testing yielded results that were statistically indeterminate, though unlike strength testing this arose from inaccurate assumptions made during testing. This also prevented accurate thermal diffusivity results, as diffusivity is a function of density, thermal conductivity, and specific heat capacity. However, given the trends of the first two parameters, it is plausible to say that diffusivity in copper slag concrete would be lower than that of the control ix. All of these results were plugged into ASU's Pavement Temperature Model to see what effect they had in mitigating the UHI effect.

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2012-05

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Thermal Energy Storage Using Organic and Metallic Phase Change Materials

Description

Concentrated Solar Power and Thermal Energy Storage are two technologies that are currently being explored as environmentally friendly methods of energy generation. The two technologies are often combined in an overall system to increase efficiency and reliability of the energy

Concentrated Solar Power and Thermal Energy Storage are two technologies that are currently being explored as environmentally friendly methods of energy generation. The two technologies are often combined in an overall system to increase efficiency and reliability of the energy generation system. A collaborative group of researchers from Australia and the United States formed a project to design solar concentrators that utilize Concentrated Solar Power and Thermal Energy Storage. The collaborators from Arizona State designed a Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage system for the project. It was initially proposed that the system utilize Dowtherm A as the Heat Transfer Fluid and a tin alloy as the storage material. Two thermal reservoirs were designed as part of the system; one reservoir was designed to be maintained at 240˚ C, while the other reservoir was designed to be maintained at 210˚ C. The tin was designed to receive heat from the hot reservoir during a charging cycle and discharge heat to the cold reservoir during a discharge cycle. From simulation, it was estimated that the system would complete a charging cycle in 17.5 minutes and a discharging cycle in 6.667 minutes [1]. After the initial design was fabricated and assembled, the system proved ineffective and did not perform as expected. Leaks occurred within the system under high pressure and the reservoirs could not be heated to the desired temperatures. After adding a flange to one of the reservoirs, it was decided that the system would be run with one reservoir, with water as the Heat Transfer Fluid. The storage material was changed to paraffin wax, because it would achieve phase change at a temperature lower than the boiling point of water. Since only one reservoir was available, charging cycle tests were performed on the system to gain insight on system performance. It was found that the paraffin sample only absorbs 3.29% of the available heat present during a charging cycle. This report discusses the tests performed on the system, the analysis of the data from these tests, the issues with the system that were revealed from the analyses, and potential design changes that would increase the efficiency of the system.

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2016-12