Project Summary

By 2050, the demand for accessible energy is predicted to double the needs of 2009. According to Lewis and Norcera in their evaluation of the sustainable energy, solar power is the only viable noncarbonaceous source. The SolArray is a novel self-tracking passive photovoltaic diode orientation system that addresses the challenges faced by conventional photovoltaic panel arrangements, which require maintenance and are affected by wind. The SolArray is capable of orientation positioning for angle alignment accuracy, accomplished through the individualization of each row of diodes’ performance by micro-tracking orientation, ensuring that a minimal amount of space is occupied while optimizing the photovoltaic array. This research utilizes dye-sensitized photovoltaic diodes, as they are more flexibly producible, which are thus mounted on a rotational structure that possesses flaps for harnessing wind movement. Notches that retract using push-pull solenoids limit the motion of the cells at certain times after sunrise, detected using a digital logic gate and a comparator. The timer circuit uses a programmable timer chip with a resistor and capacitor. A performance investigation was conducted under a seven-hour exposure with rotational lighting sources. According to its standard output, the SolArray, on average, maintained virtually 100% efficiency with a small range of angle alignment accuracy values and generated 40% more energy than a conventional single-exposure system. The SolArray will also allow buildings to install photovoltaic arrays that are more accommodating to wind resistance. It is easier to calibrate and maintain than a conventional system, enabling developing countries to afford localized solar panel systems, improving their potential for sustainable development.

Project Information

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

 

Grade Category: 10-12 (Grade 12)
Team Size: 1 member
Subject Area: Engineering/Computer Science
Project Type: Experimental and Descriptive Project Type III (Engineering)
Language: English

This website was submitted for the 2009 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 CS4 Extended
Microsoft Office Excel 2007
Stata 9.0
Cadence Orcad Design 10.5
Microsoft Visio


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 the optimization of photovoltaic tracking, this project aims to expand on the field.

 

Special Skills:
HTML
Javascript
Graphic Design

 

Awards Won:
Calgary Youth Science Fair 2009
Gold Medal
APEGGA Secondary Award for Engineering
Queen's University Applied Science Award and Scholarship
Terry Allen Travel Scholarship (Placement on Team Calgary to the Canada-Wide Science Fair 2009)

 

Canada-Wide Science Fair 2009 - Winnipeg, Manitoba
(Fair has not taken place yet - May 9-17, 2009)

 

Previous Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair Projects:
2008 - Passionate Passivity - Eden Full
2007 - Monocularized Binoculars - Eden Full
2006 - The Nerdy Tree - Eden Full
2005 - The Art of Reading Smart - Eden Full

Copyright © Eden Full, 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact: spacecamper@gmail.com.