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Journal of Photonics for Energy

Solar array design based on shadow analysis for increasing net energy collection in a competition vehicle
Author(s): Gilberto Osorio-Gómez; Ricardo Mejía-Gutiérrez; Nicolás Suárez-Castañeda; Ana M. Gil-Herrera; Jorge A. Barrera-Velásquez
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Paper Abstract

Photovoltaic (PV) applications such as in the architectural, automotive, and aerospace industries face design contradictions because they are expected to produce a lot of energy but are constrained by available area, surface shape, incident irradiance, shadows, and other aspects that have a negative influence on the energy produced by the solar panel. Solar competition vehicles are some of these challenging PV applications. The design of such solar arrays needs to consider efficiency evaluation in order to optimize space; it is difficult not to install solar modules in areas impacted by shadows. A design procedure for a solar array configuration based on shadow analysis for competition vehicles is presented. The principle is that shadows in moving objects can be simulated, since the vehicle, the earth and the sun are are moving in semipredictable patterns, thus net energy collection can be forecast. The case study presented is the solar array design of a vehicle that participated in the World Solar Challenge 2013. The obtained results illustrate how the employment of the procedure gives insights on important aspects to consider and also delivers qualitative and quantitative information for decision making. In addition, the experience in competition highlights some issues to be considered, modified, or improved in further vehicle designs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 June 2015
PDF: 15 pages
J. Photon. Energy. 5(1) 053091 doi: 10.1117/1.JPE.5.053091
Published in: Journal of Photonics for Energy Volume 5, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Gilberto Osorio-Gómez, Univ. EAFIT (Colombia)
Ricardo Mejía-Gutiérrez, Univ. EAFIT (Colombia)
Nicolás Suárez-Castañeda, Univ. EAFIT (Colombia)
Ana M. Gil-Herrera, Univ. EAFIT (Colombia)
Jorge A. Barrera-Velásquez, Univ. EAFIT (Colombia)

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