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Development of Novel Learning Materials for Green Energy Education Centered Around a Photovoltaic (PV) Test Station

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.497.1 - 22.497.7



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Paper Authors


Hirak C. Patangia University of Arkansas, Little Rock

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Dr. Hirak Patangia is a Professor of Electronics and Computer in the College of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. He has served the University in various administrative positions including interim dean, associate dean, and department chair before returning to full-time teaching and research.He is a strong proponent of undergraduate research and many of his publications include undergraduates as coauthors. With NSF funding, he developed a project based freshman engineering course for engineering and other university students who want to explore engineering as a career path or for personal enrichment. He has written a textbook and a laboratory manual for the course "Introduction to Electronics and Electrical Systems: A PBL Approach."He has received numerous awards for teaching excellence at UALR including Donaghey Outstanding Teacher award. He has also received recognition for research excellence from the chancellor and college. His research interest is in the general area of signal processing (analog/digital) and he is working on new approaches in inverter design and solar controller to improve efficiency of solar energy conversion. He received the bachelor’s degree with honors from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and Ph.D. degree from McGill University, Canada, all degrees in Electrical Engineering.

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DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL LEARNING MATERIALS FOR GREEN ENERGY EDUCATION CENTERED AROUND A PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) TEST STATION AbstractA CCLI Type I NSF proposal under the heading of the paper title was awarded inAugust, 2010 to develop explarary learning materials and laboratory modules for PVengineering at the undergraduate/graduate level. The paper discusses the plannedactivities and implementation strategies of the proposed work.With energy cost rising and the dangers of climate change due to energy-relatedgreenhouse effect, there has been a great national interest in renewable energy. Energysecurity has been a public concern. Among the clean and green power sources, thephotovoltaic solar power has the potential to supply a significant fraction of electricalenergy need. With the sky rocketing gas price of past years, people are paying seriousattention to alternate energy and this enthusiasm must be carried on to undergraduateengineering education. As a cornerstone of his energy, environment, and economic plans,President Barack Obama urges the country to transform its energy system to make itgreener and smarter. This project seeks to address such a challenge with contemporarycourses on alternate energy harnessing and electric smart grid (ESG). No readilyavailable comprehensive educational materials currently exist for the topics. It is essentialthat engineering challenges in harnessing alternate energy be demonstrated to studentsthrough hands-on laboratory experience. The outcome objectives of the project are:• Complete a 2-3 KW photovoltaic test station for undergraduate teaching/research and develop related learning materials.• Alongside the PV station, develop laboratory facilities with direct access to solar panels to provide experiential knowledge of high voltage and high current power electronics employed in solar energy conversion.• Provide simulation experience to students to investigate various topological methods to improve efficiency and THD in inverters.• Develop expertise in dc to dc conversion for maximum power point controller design.• Develop programming skills in embedded controller for power management and inverter control.• Provide experiential know-how of modern battery technology for hybrid operation.• Incorporate the facility’s grid connectivity to a course on ESG.• Use the test bed as a demonstration platform for high school students and teachers. The working of a ‘silent’ inverter engine to produce real power will provide a high level of interest and enthusiasm to the visitors and in return, propagate to the community.

Patangia, H. C. (2011, June), Development of Novel Learning Materials for Green Energy Education Centered Around a Photovoltaic (PV) Test Station Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17778

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