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Installation and Manufacturing of Photovoltaics: an Assessment Using California and New York

Description: Renewable energy studies are becoming increasingly important as world energy demand rises and current energy sources are increasingly questioned. Solar photovoltaics (PV) are the focus of this study as a renewable industry still in its infancy. This research examines the geography of solar panel installation and manufacturing from 2007 to 2010 in California and New York. California is the larger of the two markets and has implemented more policy support; programs that appear to have increased the pace of installations, reduce the size of the subsidy, and help lower total costs. Similar trends are observable in New York. US based companies are still making solar panels, but foreign competitors, most notably from China and Mexico, are capturing an increasing share of the market.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Dohanich, Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

RDI's Wisdom Way Solar Village Final Report: Includes Utility Bill Analysis of Occupied Homes

Description: In 2010, Rural Development, Inc. (RDI) completed construction of Wisdom Way Solar Village (WWSV), a community of ten duplexes (20 homes) in Greenfield, MA. RDI was committed to very low energy use from the beginning of the design process throughout construction. Key features include: 1. Careful site plan so that all homes have solar access (for active and passive); 2. Cellulose insulation providing R-40 walls, R-50 ceiling, and R-40 floors; 3. Triple-pane windows; 4. Airtight construction (~0.1 CFM50/ft2 enclosure area); 5. Solar water heating systems with tankless, gas, auxiliary heaters; 6. PV systems (2.8 or 3.4kWSTC); 7. 2-4 bedrooms, 1,100-1,700 ft2. The design heating loads in the homes were so small that each home is heated with a single, sealed-combustion, natural gas room heater. The cost savings from the simple HVAC systems made possible the tremendous investments in the homes' envelopes. The Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB) monitored temperatures and comfort in several homes during the winter of 2009-2010. In the Spring of 2011, CARB obtained utility bill information from 13 occupied homes. Because of efficient lights, appliances, and conscientious home occupants, the energy generated by the solar electric systems exceeded the electric energy used in most homes. Most homes, in fact, had a net credit from the electric utility over the course of a year. On the natural gas side, total gas costs averaged $377 per year (for heating, water heating, cooking, and clothes drying). Total energy costs were even less - $337 per year, including all utility fees. The highest annual energy bill for any home evaluated was $458; the lowest was $171.
Date: July 1, 2011
Creator: Robb Aldrich, Steven Winter Associates
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

[News Clip: Solar Car]

Description: Video footage from the KXAS-TV/NBC station in Fort Worth, Texas, to accompany a news story. This story aired at 5 P.M.
Date: November 6, 1987
Creator: KXAS-TV (Television station : Fort Worth, Tex.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

Improving Photovoltaic Panel Efficiency by Cooling Water Circulation

Description: This thesis aims to increase photovoltaic (PV) panel power efficiency by employing a cooling system based on water circulation, which represents an improved version of water flow based active cooling systems. Theoretical calculations involved finding the heat produced by the PV panel and the circulation water flow required to remove this heat. A data logger and a cooling system for a test panel of 20W was designed and employed to study the relationship between the PV panel surface temperature and its output power. This logging and cooling system includes an Arduino microcontroller extended with a data logging shield, temperature sensing probes, current sensors, and a DC water pump. Real-time measurements were logged every minute for one or two day periods under various irradiance and air temperature conditions. For these experiments, a load resistance was chosen to operate the test panel at its maximum power point. Results indicate that the cooling system can yield an improvement of 10% in power production. Based on the observations from the test panel experiments, a cooling system was devised for a PV panel array of 640 W equipped with a commercial charge controller. The test data logger was repurposed for this larger system. An identical PV array was left uncooled and monitored simultaneously to compare the effect of cooling, demonstrating that the cooled array provided up to an extra 132W or 20% of maximum power for sunny weather conditions. Future expansion possibilities of the project include automated water level monitoring system and water filtration systems.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Joseph, Jyothis
Partner: UNT Libraries