Project Examples

Design of a photovoltaic system as an educational display on campus

Course: 22.527 Solar Systems Engineering
Semester: Spring 2008
Instructor: John Duffy
Partner: University of Massachusetts Lowell

A group of the students from the Solar Systems Engineering course decided on a project that will provide the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a small PV system that would serve as an energy source for lights, but mainly as an educational display of new and available technology. Their task was to site the system: decide which location was suited for the system (choosing a bus stop kiosk), taking as criteria if the system would have high visibility, if it would have any shading issues, and how much irradiation would be expected at the site. The students also put their knowledge to practice by testing different PV modules available from the Solar lab for their possible use at implementation; they also selected balance of system components like charge controllers, photoswitches and timers (which would turn the lights on during the night and turn them off at dawn), and they also determined an optimal tilt angle at which the panels would receive the most radiation.