Engineering

Research Papers/Topics in Engineering

Accelerating the Growth of Solar Photovoltaic Deployment with Peer to Peer Financing

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is a means of increasing energy security whilst reducing the negative externalities of fossil fuel dependence. Programs, such as feed-in-tariffs (FITs) implemented in many countries for on-grid PV, provide economic incentives for investment. On the other hand, off-grid PV systems reduce energy poverty and increase both entrepreneurial productivity and return in rural isolated areas. Despite these social and economic justifications, there is still limited acc...

Open Solar Photovoltaic Systems Optimization

A partnership has formed between eighteen organizations to produce the Open Solar Outdoors Test Field (OSOTF), which has been designed to provide critical data and research on solar photovoltaic (PV) systems optimization in the public domain. Unlike many other projects, the OSOTF is organized under open source principles. All data and analysis when completed will be made freely available to the entire photovoltaic community and the general public. This paper documents how the teamwork between...

Incorporating Shading Losses in Solar Photovoltaic Potential Assessment at the Municipal Scale

Recently several algorithms have been developed to calculate the solar photovoltaic (PV) potential on the basis of 2.5D raster data that can capture urban morphology. This study provides a new algorithm that (i) incorporates both terrain and near surface shadowing effects on the beam component; (ii) scales down the diffuse components of global irradiation; and (iii) utilizes free and open source GRASS and the module r.sun in modeling irradiation. This algorithm is semi-automatic and easy to u...

The Application of LiDAR to Assessment of Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Deployment Potential on a Municipal District Unit

A methodology is provided for the application of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to automated solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment analysis on the regional scale. Challenges in urban information extraction and management for solar PV deployment assessment are determined and quantitative solutions are offered. This paper provides the following contributions: (i) a methodology that is consistent with recommendations from existing literature advocating the integration of cross-disciplinary com...

Model of Loss Mechanisms for Low Optical Concentratioon on Solar Photovoltaic Arrays with Planar Reflectors

The use of low optical concentration with planar reflectors represents a relatively simple method for improving solar photovoltaic (PV) specific efficiency. A coupled optical and thermal model was developed to determine the effects on yearly performance of a planar concentrator on array-scale solar PV installations. This model accounts for i) thermal, ii) angle of incidence, iii) reflectivity, and iv) string mismatch loss mechanisms in order to enable informed design of low optical concentrat...

Expanded microchannel heat exchanger: design, fabrication and preliminary experimental test

This paper first reviews non-traditional heat exchanger geometry, laser welding, practical issues with microchannel heat exchangers, and high effectiveness heat exchangers. Existing microchannel heat exchangers have low material costs, but high manufacturing costs. This paper presents a new expanded microchannel heat exchanger design and accompanying continuous manufacturing technique for potential low-cost production. Polymer heat exchangers have the potential for high effectiveness. The pap...

Improved parametric empirical determination of module short circuit current for modelling and optimization of solar photovoltaic systems

Correct modelling of solar photovoltaic (PV) system yields is necessary to optimize system design, improve reliability of projected outputs to ensure favourable project financing and to facilitate proper operations and maintenance. An improved methodology for fine resolution modelling of PV systems is presented using module short-circuit current (Isc) at 5-min time-scales, and clearly identifies pertinent error mechanisms that arise when working at this high resolution. This work used a modif...

Open-Source Development of Solar Photovoltaic Technology

The rise of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology as a driver of rural electrification in the developing world and a contributor to climate change mitigation suggests that innovations enhancing PV efficiency and scalability could make considerable strides in reducing both poverty and greenhouse gas emissions. The nearly global access to the solar resource coupled to innovation-driven decreases in the costs of PV provides a path for an renewable energy source to accelerate sustainable development...

Open-Source Colorimeter

The high cost of what have historically been sophisticated research-related sensors and tools has limited their adoption to a relatively small group of well-funded researchers. This paper provides a methodology for applying an open-source approach to design and development of a colorimeter. A 3-D printable, open-source colorimeter utilizing only open-source hardware and software solutions and readily available discrete components is discussed and its performance compared to a commercial porta...

Optimizing limited solar roof access by exergy analysis of solar thermal, photovoltaic, and hybrid photovoltaic thermal systems

An exergy analysis was performed to compare a conventional (1) two panel photovoltaic solar thermal hybrid (PVT x2) system, (2) side by side photovoltaic and solar thermal (PV + T) system, (3) two module photovoltaic (PV) system and (4) a two panel solar thermal (T x2) system with identical absorber areas to determine the superior technical solar energy systems for applications with a limited roof area. Three locations, Detroit, Denver and Phoenix, were simulated due to their differences in a...

Effects of spectral albedo on solar photovoltaic devices

Although the spectral effects of direct and diffuse radiation on solar photovoltaic (PV) performance are relatively well understood, recent investigations have shown that there can be a spectral bias introduced due to albedo from common ground surfaces that can impact the optimal selection of PV materials for a known location. This paper extends analysis to the effects of spectral bias due to the specular reflectivity of 22 commonly occurring surface materials (both man-made and natural) and ...

Simulations of greenhouse gas emission reductions from low-cost hybrid solar photovoltaic and cogeneration systems for new communities

Recent work has shown that small-scale combined heat and power (CHP) and solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies have symbiotic relationships, which enable coverage of technical weaknesses while providing the potential of significant greenhouse gas emission reductions at the residential level. With the reductions in the cost of PV systems and the increasing maturity of CHP systems an opportunity exists for widespread commercialization of the technology, particularly for new construction. In orde...

Mobile Open-Source Solar-Powered 3-D Printers for Distributed Manufacturing in Off-Grid Communities

Manufacturing in areas of the developing world that lack electricity severely restricts the technical sophistication of what is produced. More than a billion people with no access to electricity still have access to some imported higher-technologies; however, these often lack customization and often appropriateness for their community. Open source appropriate technology (OSAT) can over­come this challenge, but one of the key impediments to the more rapid development and distri­bution of OSA...

DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF SINGLE PHASE INDUCTION MOTOR FOR NUMERICAL MACHINE COMPLEX

The energy sector plays a major role in driving Kenya’s economy. The need to conceive, develop and sustain energy generating sources cannot be underestimated.  Being a growing economy, Kenya therefore needs to redirect her effort in production of self-sustaining energy generating sources. It is in this line that the government through the ministry of industrialization, energy and vision 2030 sought to establish the Numerical Machine Complex, which serves as a hub for fabrication...

Evaluation of the dangers of corrosion in marine piping system using carbon steel c-1040.

The research was undertaken to ascertain the level and ingress of corrosion in carbon steel C-1040.


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