Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Energy Conversion and Conservation
Solar energy has been growing at an exponential rate over the past decade, and worldwide installed solar electric capacity is expected to more than double again by 2020. Madison Area Technical College and the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education (CREATE) have been on the forefront of this trend, developing and teaching solar energy education courses for STEM students. Solar panel performance is unfortunately limited in the field when panels become soiled over time, reducing their electric output. In this student initiated experiment, solar panels were treated with a nanoporous silica/titania metal oxide thin film coating to impart self-cleaning properties. Panels from an operational 1.6 kW solar array were coated in the field to model a real-world application process. The system incorporated module level micro-inverters to monitor the power output of individual panels. The system was installed in July, and coatings applied in October, 2017. Data collection and analysis is ongoing. Through this research project, students learned the fundamentals of solar photovoltaic technology, aspects of solar system design, safe installation procedures, and principles of data analysis.
Walz, K. A., & Shoemaker, J. B., & Scholes, A. J., & Jiang, H., & Silva, J. M., & Sanfilippo, J., & Zeltner, W. A., & Anderson, M. A. (2018, June), Experimental Field Trial of Self-cleaning Solar Photovoltaic Panels Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30477
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