June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Energy Conversion and Conservation
23.1059.1 - 23.1059.8
Seeking the Sun - a Student Design Competition EndeavorAbstract A student team was assembled recently to participate in a Federal agency sponsorednational design competition. This team named itself the Sun-Seekers. The team’s objective is to design a fixed-tilt photovoltaic module, enclosing individualrows of solar cells that can separately track the sun. This will allow the module itself to be mountedsimply at a fixed tilt but still reap the substantial energy collecting benefits presently associatedwith active and passive solar tracking panels, while avoiding their significant additionalcomplexity, cost and weight. The goal is to improve upon the amount of energy collected by asimilarly-sized fixed-tilt solar panel by at least 25%. The team’s tasks include the following: Determining the type and design of passive actuators (not motors) that would be most appropriate for rotating lightweight groups of cells in an inexpensive yet reliable and robust photovoltaic module. This will initially focus on methodologies based on the deformation of bimetallic coils. Researching the selection of materials and geometry needed for a bimetallic coil to produce desired displacement and torque responses to direct solar radiation. Investigating approaches for rotating the columns of cells as independently as possible from changes in ambient temperature. Working on the design and placement of shadow plates or gratings relative to the bimetallic coils that will act to ascertain the direction of sunlight and determine the proper amount of rotation required from the actuator. The full paper will expand on the above, including giving specific examples of analysis anddesign aspects of this novel photovoltaic module that required the student team to apply what theyhad learnt from their completed coursework, as well as newly acquired specialized knowledge.
Diong, B. M., & Tippens, S. J. (2013, June), Seeking the Sun - a Student Design Competition Endeavor Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22444
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