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A Student Centered Solar Photovoltaic Installation Project

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Teaching Courses in Renewable Energy Systems

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

12.122.1 - 12.122.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1725

Download Count

77

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Paper Authors

biography

Arthur Haman University of Detroit Mercy

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In his fifty years at the University Arthur C. Haman has progressed through the academic ranks to his current position of Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean for Operations. His industrial experience was acquired as a Structures and Armaments engineer at Northrup Aviation and as an engineer in the Scientific Laboratory of the Ford Motor Company. He has also held visiting professorships at what was Carnegie Institute of Technology and Dartmouth College. His current interests are in thermodynamics and internal combustion engines.

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Robert Ross University of Detroit Mercy

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Robert Ross is an Associate Professor of physics at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he teaches general and modern physics courses. His research interests include physics education and photovoltaic energy conversion. He has fourteen years of industrial experience where his research and publications in the field of amorphous silicon photovoltaic cells helped lead to the development of more efficient solar panels. Ross earned his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Wayne State University.

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Mark Schumack University of Detroit Mercy

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Mark Schumack is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he teaches courses in heat transfer, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and energy systems. His ongoing pedagogical interests include developing ways to teach energy conservation and sustainability principles. He has held several leadership positions in the Energy Conversion and Conservation Division of ASEE. His research interests include thermal/fluid modeling using computational techniques, with applications in the automotive, manufacturing, and energy fields. Dr. Schumack earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Will Wittig University of Detroit Mercy

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Will Wittig is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Detroit Mercy. He is also the Co-Director of the Masters of Community Development program, and is a founding partner of Crossings Architecture. Prof. Wittig teaches a masters level thesis studio as well as a required lecture course on ecological
design, an elective design+build studio, and Introduction to Physical Development in the Community Development program. Prof. Wittig earned a professional Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kansas, and a Masters of Architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

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David Chew University of Detroit Mercy

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David Chew is a mechanical engineering student at the University of Detroit Mercy. He has had the opportunity to co-op with the Hydraulic Valve Division of Parker Hannifin in Elyria, OH. David will receive his undergraduate degree in August of 2008 and hopes to design thrill rides and roller coasters in the future.

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Krysten Dzwigalski University of Detroit Mercy

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Krysten Dzwigalski is an undergraduate student in mechanical engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy. She is currently in her third year and plans to graduate in August of 2008. She has completed a co-op with Daimler Chrysler at Warren Truck Assembly Plant, and is currently working at TARDEC for the US Department of Defense. Krysten is also the President of the Engineering and Science Student Council.

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Chris Keimig

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Chris Keimig is a student of mechanical engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy. He is an intern with DaimlerChrysler Corporation in the Vehicle Development department. He is involved with Alpha Phi Omega community service fraternity, Engineering and Science Student Council, Society of Automotive Engineers, and Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering honors society.

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Meghann Mouyianis University of Detroit Mercy

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Tim Rourke University of Detroit Mercy

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Tim Rourke is a junior at the University of Detroit Mercy. He is studying mechanical engineering and has been actively involved on campus through work study, undergraduate research, and the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. Tim is currently on the co-op rotation employed at Hitachi Automotive Products, where he is an intern for the electro mechanical group, working on throttle bodies and direct injection systems.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Student-Centered Solar Photovoltaic Installation Project

Introduction

In light of the growing recognition that the country must accelerate efforts to develop alternatives to oil, the U.S. government has offered incentives for installation of alternative energy systems. One incentive program administered by the State of Michigan Energy Office called for organizations to install and demonstrate large scale (10 kW or larger) solar photovoltaic systems for purposes of public education. The College of Engineering & Science at the University of Detroit Mercy applied for and was awarded such a grant in 2005. The project had two objectives: first, to demonstrate that photovoltaic solar energy generation can be seamlessly incorporated into existing architecture; and second, to inform and educate a wide-ranging target audience about the technology and issues surrounding photovoltaic systems.

State funds were restricted to equipment, supplies, and materials. In order to minimize additional costs, the faculty team decided to purchase a PV system that required minimal support structure and building modification, and to use volunteer faculty and student labor to accomplish the installation. In spite of the time commitment, the experience provided invaluable benefits in terms of student-faculty relationships, student learning, and fostering interdepartmental collaboration.

The remainder of the paper describes the system we installed, the installation process, student learning which took place, and preliminary system performance data.

System description

The photovoltaic system is a 10 kW Uni-Solar “Premier Solar Flat” system, consisting of seven 6.1 m 5.2 m horizontally mounted self-ballasted assemblies that feed an inverter which in turn provides AC power directly into the building’s electrical system. The pre-engineered system uses triple junction amorphous silicon alloy technology designed and manufactured by United Solar Ovonic. We decided to install a 10 kW system because we wanted to minimize costs and 10 kW was the smallest supported by the grant.

Each assembly consists of 11 of Uni-Solar’s 136 W photovoltaic laminates. Each flexible laminate strip is approximately 0.41 m wide and 5.5 m long, and is durable enough to walk on. The laminates are attached to standing seam metal roofing assemblies with a “peel-and-stick” adhesive. Each laminate is rated at 33 VDC and 4.1 A. Within each of the seven assemblies 11 laminates are connected in series to generate 363 V and 4.1 A. The seven assemblies are connected in parallel to give a nominal DC output of 28.7 A at 363 V. The DC power is directed into a Xantrex 10 kW 60 Hz sine wave inverter to generate 208 VAC 3-phase power. The AC power is delivered to the building’s electrical system through a 10 kVA, 208 V “wye” isolation transformer. Since the system is rated at 10 kW peak for the DC power, the 10 kVA transformer is operating below the rated value under normal conditions.

Haman, A., & Ross, R., & Schumack, M., & Wittig, W., & Chew, D., & Dzwigalski, K., & Keimig, C., & Mouyianis, M., & Rourke, T. (2007, June), A Student Centered Solar Photovoltaic Installation Project Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1725

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