Asee peer logo

Developing VR-Based Solar Cell Lab Module in Green Manufacturing Education

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Manufacturing Division Session - Virtual and Augmented Reality

Tagged Division


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Richard Chiou Drexel University

visit author page

Dr. Richard Chiou is Associate Professor within the Engineering Technology Department at Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree in the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. His educational background is in manufacturing with an emphasis on mechatronics. In addition to his many years of industrial experience, he has taught many different engineering and technology courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. His tremendous research experience in manufacturing includes environmentally conscious manufacturing, Internet based robotics, and Web based quality. In the past years, he has been involved in sustainable manufacturing for maximizing energy and material recovery while minimizing environmental impact.

visit author page

author page

Hieu V Nguyen Drexel University


Irina Nicoleta Ciobanescu Husanu Drexel University

visit author page

Irina Ciobanescu Husanu, Ph. D. is Assistant Clinical Professor with Drexel University, Engineering Technology program. Her area of expertise is in thermo-fluid sciences with applications in micro-combustion, fuel cells, green fuels and plasma assisted combustion. She has prior industrial experience in aerospace engineering that encompasses both theoretical analysis and experimental investigations such as designing and testing of propulsion systems including design and development of pilot testing facility, mechanical instrumentation, and industrial applications of aircraft engines. Also, in the past 10 years she gained experience in teaching ME and ET courses in both quality control and quality assurance areas as well as in thermal-fluid, energy conversion and mechanical areas from various levels of instruction and addressed to a broad spectrum of students, from freshmen to seniors, from high school graduates to adult learners. She also has extended experience in curriculum development. Dr. Husanu developed laboratory activities for Measurement and Instrumentation course as well as for quality control undergraduate and graduate courses in ET Masters program. Also, she introduced the first experiential activity for Applied Mechanics courses. She is coordinator and advisor for capstone projects for Engineering Technology.

visit author page


Tzu-Liang Bill Tseng University of Texas at El Paso

visit author page

Dr. Bill Tseng is a Professor and Chair of Department of Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering at the UTEP. He is also a Director of Research Institute for Manufacturing & Engineering Systems, the host institute of Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center at UTEP. He received his two MSIE degrees (MFG & DS/OR) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iowa. Dr. Tseng is also a Certified Manufacturing Engineer from Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Dr. Tseng’s research area cover emergency management, systems engineering, computational intelligence/data analytics and cyber engineering technology. Over the years, he has served more than 10 million dollars as principle investigators sponsored by NSF, NIST, USDT, DoEd, KSEF and industry like LMCO, GM and Tyco Inc. Dr. Tseng delivered research results to many refereed journals such as IEEE Transactions, IIE Transactions, International Journal of Production Research, Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Expert Systems with Applications and other conferences (over 260 refereed publications). He is currently serving as an editor of Journal of Computer Standards & Interfaces (CSI) and editor boards of International Journal of Data Mining, Modeling and Management (JDMMM) and American Journal of Industrial and Business Management (AJIBM). He is currently a Senior Member of Institute of Industrial Engineers, Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the Division Chair of Manufacturing Division of American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). He is also actively involved in several consortia activities.

visit author page

Download Paper |


This paper describes the development of a new virtual reality (VR)-based laboratory module in green manufacturing education. The VR laboratory module is intended to provide an in-depth student leaning of solar energy efficiency issues to reduce the environmental impact in industry. The VR solar panel laboratory module is built with the primary purpose of allowing students to be able to work on the solar experiment remotely. Students will be able to gain knowledge and hands-on experience without having to own the physical equipment, and concepts in solar energy engineering can be conveyed effectively. The VR solar panel is built using Unity 3D with the help of the Steam VR development kit. The 3D model of the solar panel is created and rendered with the help of Blender. The solar panel is designed to be interactable. Users will be able to virtually grab and turn the solar panel and interact with all the buttons using VR controllers and a VR headset. Three main lab modules are incorporated into the solar panel lab: the angle of the light source with respect to the solar panel's angle, the temperature, and the maximum power point (MPP). The back-end programming of the solar panel is conducted using C#. The back-end includes all of the panel's characteristics and all the underlying formulas that generate experimental data. The virtual solar panel laboratory is designed to incorporate seamlessly with the lecture material and can be used to completely replace the physical solar panel lab. Students learn the fundamentals of photovoltaic (PV) effect and virtual reality gives a platform for students to implement the concepts in practice. We will conclude the paper with practical implications in instructional practice.

Chiou, R., & Nguyen, H. V., & Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N., & Tseng, T. B. (2021, July), Developing VR-Based Solar Cell Lab Module in Green Manufacturing Education Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36947

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015