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Proceedings Paper

Experimental validation of a sub-surface model of solar power for distributed marine sensor systems
Author(s): Gregory G. Hahn; Heather P. Cantin; Michael W. Shafer
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Paper Abstract

The capabilities of distributed sensor systems such as marine wildlife telemetry tags could be significantly enhanced through the integration of photovoltaic modules. Photovoltaic cells could be used to supplement the primary batteries for wildlife telemetry tags to allow for extended tag deployments, wherein larger amounts of data could be collected and transmitted in near real time. In this article, we present experimental results used to validate and improve key aspects of our original model for sub-surface solar power. We discuss the test methods and results, comparing analytic predictions to experimental results. In a previous work, we introduced a model for sub-surface solar power that used analytic models and empirical data to predict the solar irradiance available for harvest at any depth under the ocean's surface over the course of a year. This model presented underwater photovoltaic transduction as a viable means of supplementing energy for marine wildlife telemetry tags. The additional data provided by improvements in daily energy budgets would enhance the temporal and spatial comprehension of the host's activities and/or environments. Photovoltaic transduction is one method that has not been widely deployed in the sub-surface marine environments despite widespread use on terrestrial and avian species wildlife tag systems. Until now, the use of photovoltaic cells for underwater energy harvesting has generally been disregarded as a viable energy source in this arena. In addition to marine telemetry systems, photovoltaic energy harvesting systems could also serve as a means of energy supply for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), as well as submersible buoys for oceanographic data collection.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2016
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9799, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2016, 97993S (15 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2219438
Show Author Affiliations
Gregory G. Hahn, Northern Arizona Univ. (United States)
Heather P. Cantin, Northern Arizona Univ. (United States)
Michael W. Shafer, Northern Arizona Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9799:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2016
Gyuhae Park, Editor(s)

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