יום ראשון, 6 בפברואר 2011

Solar Optimizer thoughts

After encountering technologies such as Tigo Maximizer units and having short conversations about some of the issues that rise when developing the photovoltic solar installations, It seems that such an array could have additional management and control for the following:


Sun direction: 
Usually an array or PV solar array is placed in a general 'south' view. the panels are usually placed in roof angle to avoid any architectual or astethical alighnments. these angles are usually less effective for the panel and theres additional power that could have been tapped here.
demonstrated in this simple graphic showing how proper alignment allows more energy generation.
Click to enlarge
also, in night time, it could be better to place the panels in a way they would be protected during the night from the elements.

Wind speed and direction:
although PV systems are usually heavy for a human to lift, they are fragile and exposed to harm. In one side a strong wind can disable or rip off a panel and in another, no wind at all means the panel could be warming up and lose it's optimized working temperature. a lot of countries that use PV arrays are exposed to harsh weather conditions that could have very fast winds or no wind at all. these should also add to the optimization of an array. a strong wind can cool the PV but in a threshold can also rip it off. if a PV aligns with the sun, it could become very much like a sail and be exposed to higher wind speeds than a stationary one.

Panel temperature control:
Photovoltic modules suffer from high temperature impact on their performance. higher temperatures for a PV means lower output power and may also lead to degradation and failure of PV. there is also material stress associated with thermal expansion to the panel components. I won't get into the details but it is said "the cooler the better".
Combined:
we should combine the factors of sun direction, wind direction and speed and panel temperature.

These issues have been running in my head for the past month, since I've had a short conversation with Ron. I had to have some kind of visualisation of the physics to perhaps have the chance to develop myself.
If not develop, at least visualize it... for this example I'll take the 'hard way' with a tiled roof that is popular where I reside. I know that usually large arrays are built on a flat roof but for the visualization it's much prettier having it the hard way...

I've been working too long in 2D environments such as Flash and After Effects that I've forgot all about my 3D tools. Google has just recently approved some of my 3D buildings to Google Earth 3D layer but still, SketchUp is not a full throttle 3D application, It's much easier to model with but it lacks the rendering power and animation precision.
In the middle of the night I had another zombie dream and woke up with the memory of my 3D modeling technicues.
I've started the model with the most complex and hard to model item: the roof tile.
I had to create it as accurate as possible for future engine tests so it took me about 30 minuts to get it done but in the making of it I recalled most of my 3D ability in the software.
single roof tile
I've made some modifications to the roof tile so it can have robotic control to manipulate it from the roof interior, retrieve it inside the roof and still look like a popular tile (wouldn't want the neighbours to be suspicious...) an array of these looks quite like the real deal.
roof simulation array
Now the cooler is much easier to model, I've looked at a spare SouthBridge unit cooler I had lying around here and made a PV panel sized version of it:
cooler

quite costly but does the trick. I think for future development using an airconditioning grill should do the trick with less cost but it'll be less 'NASA' ...
after adding the Tigo Maximizer unit and updated the model
array, one upside down to view the coolers and max unit
I've sent it to the render, link for animation and images.

Meanwhile We've installed a very nice system on a roof with complex shadows, in this video: