Project Summary
Conventional passive photovoltaic panel tracking systems are ineffective for collecting solar radiation due to their imprecision as a result of slow reaction to thermal exposure and lack of dual-axis flexibility for seasonal change. Passive trackers use chlorofluorocarbon and hydrochlorofluorocarbon vapourization processes, which are environmentally hazardous. Dual-axis active tracking systems are more efficient due to their speed and precision from electrical motorization. However, active tracking systems are not cost-effective, requiring constant mechanical realignment. This project aims to develop a high-precision and fast-reactive passive tracking system that will optimize perpendicular tracking through the methods of thermal expansion, hydraulic restrictor control and dual-axis flexibility. A study is first conducted on the conventional passive tracking system’s angle alignment accuracy, net energy output, and efficiency. Results indicate the conventional system generated only 50% of its rated output, on average, over an exposure period of seven hours. This project proposes an innovative passive photovoltaic panel tracking system, the first with high-precision ability, dual-axis capability, as well as an environmentally-positive mechanical hydraulic restrictor control. Under the same test conditions, the designed system optimizes energy collection during all exposure periods, matching conventional active tracking in virtually 100% efficiency according to the rated output, while eliminating most maintenance costs due to its higher reaction speed. In net output comparisons to the standard passive tracker, this design generates 96% more energy, as it fully achieves angle alignment accuracy. This design can be used to power third world countries and geographic locations with warmer climates.
Project Information

This website details preliminary work for Passionate Passivity, corresponding with the Calgary Youth Science Fair in March 2008. Significant project changes and design modifications have been made to Passionate Passivity since the creation of this website. To ensure intellectual property protection, final work spanning from approximately June 2007 to April 2008 will be first presented at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in May 2008. This website should not be utilized as a reference for Eden Full's ISEF 2008 research.

This website is a summary of the project, highlighting the crucial aspects of the research involved with Passionate Passivity.

Grade Category: 10-12 (Grade 11)
Team Size: 1 member
Subject Area: Earth/Energy/Environmental Sciences
Project Type: Experimental and Descriptive Project Type III (Engineering)
Language: English

This website was submitted for the 2008 Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair. If the rollover navigation menus are not aligned or functioning properly, ActiveX and script controls should be activated in the internet browser. References and Image Sources are available at the Credits page within the same list.

Software Tools:
Adobe Dreamweaver CS3
Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended
Microsoft Office Excel 2007
Stata 9.0
Hardware Tools:
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Computer

Source for Idea:
Optimization of photovoltaic technology in energy collection has been a passion of mine for many years. This project is founded on the basis of improving conventional technology and my own previous science fair projects through an entirely different method. Because there is not much research in passive photovoltaic tracking, this project aims to expand on the field.

Special Skills:
Graphic Design

Awards Won:
Calgary Youth Science Fair 2008
Gold Medal
Chancellor's Club Bursary for Best Overall Project
Devon Canada Top Senior Award
Government of Alberta Travel Award (Placement on Team Calgary to the Canada-Wide Science Fair 2008)

Youth Science Foundation Canada
Selection to Team Canada 2008 to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2008 - Atlanta, Georgia
(Fair has not taken place yet - May 11-16, 2008)

Previous Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair Projects:
2007 - Monocularized Binoculars - Eden Full
2006 - The Nerdy Tree - Eden Full
2005 - The Art of Reading Smart - Eden Full

Copyright © Eden Full, 2008. All rights reserved.