Solar Power Lab is engaged in research activities on different aspects of Photovoltaics.
Seminar: Demand Side Management of PV Systems in Rural Areas in Africa
Speaker: Catarina Augusto
May 16, in ERC 189, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m
Renewable energy systems depend strongly on energy efficiency, impacting directly the power size of the systems, and the investment cost. In developing countries, energy supply is poor and the investment costs are high. In this scenario, energy efficiency is critical to secure proper energy supply, more than in developed economies. Demand Side Management (DSM) can help to answer to this problem. In this work, we study the potential of DSM on renewable energy microgrid systems in remote areas. Fossil fuel and batteries are the two most expensive components in these systems. We analyse the impact of DSM strategies in reducing the needs of fossil fuels and how it could improve the performance of batteries in the microgrids. Different scenarios were design based on the main DSM strategies: conservation, peak clipping, load shifting and valley filling. The study is based on Soroti community, a small town in central-east of Uganda, supplied by a PV-diesel microgrid system. The tools used in this study are LoadProGen (for load profile estimation) and HOMER (for DSM scenarios analyses). The results show that combining all DSM strategies improve the performance of the power systems, and reduce the energy supply costs. The study also demonstrate that the nominal power capacity of the system has a higher impact on the energy cost than the reduction of diesel consumption. In systems with DSM, the LCOE has an improvement of 20%. These results highlight the importance of the often-neglected DSM strategies for isolated microgrids, which have the potential for promoting access to electricity in many regions of the world with clean renewable energies.
At the science fair for the local middle school QESST put on a display on solar and fun to be had with liquid nitrogen. The temperature reading on the liquid nitrogen wa -309 °F. Arizona normally doesn't normally get that cold!. The display was to complement the excellent work done by the Aprende middle school student for their science fair project. Thanks very much to SPL students Max, Alex and Mark for making the night such a success.
We made the cover story of the latest edition of the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE). Katherine Nelson's PhD work on "Students’ Misconceptions about Semiconductors and Use of Knowledge in Simulations" was featured as the cover story on the April 2017 edition of the Journal of Engineering Education. Solar Cells are based on the principles of semiconductor device physics. Dr Nelson and her co-authors used the instructional materials at the pveducation.org website to explore how student's misconceptions are either reinforced or overcome by the animations. Her findings will enable instructors to create better simulations to aid student learning.
The full paper is at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jee.20163/full
The latest report from the International Energy Agence (IEA) shows that photovoltaics supplies 1.8% of the world's electricity consumed. Photovoltaics (PV) grows exponentially while electricity demand grows slowly so it was only two years ago that photovoltaics supplied less than 1% of the world's electrcity. At current growth rates photovoltaics will suppply all the world's electcity in 2030. A more likely scenario is that the declining costs of photovoltaics will enable access for the 1.1 billion people without electrcity, and new technologies such as electric cars.
Federal officials tour ASU's photovoltaics lab, the nation's largest
ASU took delivery of a new advanced solar cell efficiency tester from Sinton Instruments this week. The new tester is a FCT-450 and is an upgrade of our previous tester also from Sinton Instruments. A significant advantage of the new system is the ability to measure smaller area cells, a broader range of temperature measurements and the extraction of substrate doping from the completed solar cell.
All About Solar cells is a series of lectures on the use and fabrication of solar cells.
The solar cell industry continues to grow in leaps and bounds and will have a major impact on energy production in the future. The Solar Power Laboratory at Arizona State University has been running the student led pilot line for the past six years as part of the QESST research Engineering Research Center and more recently included the NCI-SW. The line has had taught over 200 people how to make a solar cell in hands on setting where the learners get to make a solar cell from start to finish. Many of the learners are already experienced in the industry while for others it is their first time in a laboratory.
Regher Solar LLC, a QESST spinout company, recently announced reaching a cell efficiency of 21.3% as confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. Regher is cofounded by Dr. Stanislau ‘Stas’ Herasimenka, a postdoc and QESST alumni.
While at QESST, Stas developed all aspects of silicon-heterojunction technology from wafer cleaning to commercial PV panel prototyping. With five patents and two disclosures to his name, Stas intends to develop a patent portfolio that will help create a defensible market position for Regher.
QESST scholar Antony Aguilar was invited to present an extended oral talk at the 2016 IEEE Photovoltaics Specialist Conference (PVSC) in Portland, Oregon. Antony presented the paper, Development of Cu Plating for Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells, representing the High Efficiency Silicon Solar Cell (HESSC) team directed by QESST faculty, Stuart Bowden. Co-authors included other QESST scholars and industry partners from Technic (Krystal Munoz, Lynne Michaelson, and Tom Tyson). The presentation described an alternative metallization to the standard low temperature Ag paste for Silicon Heterojunction Cells (SHJ) cells.
Solar cells typically operate at temperatures below 100 °C. A new class of 'refractory' solar cells was presented at the 43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference in June 2016. These new cells are stable at tempertures over 600 °C.
In addition to applications in CSP-CPV hybrid plants, these cells open up new application areas for solar cells. Those applications include power beaming for wireless recharging of electric UAV’s, high temperature cells for space probes to Venus and Mercury, and deployment in nuclear-photovoltaic hybrids.