In House & Partnership with the REA Solar Team
Manager: Emma Peavler
Learning Objectives: Simulation, Programming (Python, Matlab, and/or Mathematica), Report Writing
As the effects of non-renewable energy resources (i.e. coal, oil etc) are compounding the issue of global warming, the creation of practical and manufacturable renewable energy sources is necessary for the future of humanity. This experiment group will be designing, simulating and creating solar energy storage devices using lithium ion battery cells (18650) and various solar panels. In this experiment team members will learn and use basic programming knowledge to simulate the efficiency of various solar panels and optimize a design that allows for the maximum return on investment for each solar pack. Members will also be able to engineer and build the energy storage packs for optimized use.
The goal of the study was to determine the best solar panel for use in a solar-powered rechargeable battery station, as requested by the Renewable Energy Association (REA). We first gathered data on various solar panels of different types, prices, efficiencies, and power from several companies. We analyzed this data through graphs, in addition to creating a point system to assign scores to each panel based off of their power and efficiency in relation to their price. From this analysis we found that the LONGi LR6 290 Watt panel best meets the REA’s needs. Two other recommended panels are the Silfab Solar SLG-370M (370 Watts) and the Hanwha PEAK-G4.1 300 (300 Watts) panels.