Title

Concentrating Photovoltaic and Thermal Collector

Presenter Information

Benjamin Brannon

Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Major

Electrical Engineering

Research Advisor

Baur, Stuart Werner, 1965-

Advisor's Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Funding Source

Missouri S&T Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experiences (OURE) Fellows Program; Missouri S&T Solar House Team

Abstract

Although thermal concentrators are readily available, the market for Concentrating Photovoltaic and Thermal Collectors is a fairly untouched application. This combination of thermal heat transfer and photovoltaic energy generation, working in harmony to produce a benefit in both arenas, is a bold step into the common application of renewable energy generation and use. The tests conducted within this research helped to prove the theory that the thermal energy could be taken from the concentrated cell thus producing an increase in the solar output of the cell itself. The concentration of the parabolic trough emphasized this effect by focusing the solar output onto the collector and creating a large temperature differential within the system. This experiment and its results furthered the understanding of combined energy generation systems.

Biography

Ben Brannon is junior in Electrical Engineering from Nashville, Tennessee. He is heavily involved on campus in the Solar House student design team and several research projects stemming from it including studies on SmartGrid application, the Chameleon home automation system, advanced lighting control, Solar Building Benchmark and concentrating solar thermal systems. During the 2009 summer he worked as an intern at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado researching the effects of renewable power generation on current grid infrastructure, and plans to return in 2010 to research the possibilities of occupancy detection from a camera-based microprocessor system. After graduation he plans to work in the renewable energy field in either green building system design or renewable power generation.

Research Category

Engineering

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Award

Engineering oral presentation, First place

Location

Ozark Room

Presentation Date

07 Apr 2010, 9:00 am - 9:30 am

Comments

Joint Project with Andrew Adams and Cory Brennan

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Apr 7th, 9:00 AM Apr 7th, 9:30 AM

Concentrating Photovoltaic and Thermal Collector

Ozark Room

Although thermal concentrators are readily available, the market for Concentrating Photovoltaic and Thermal Collectors is a fairly untouched application. This combination of thermal heat transfer and photovoltaic energy generation, working in harmony to produce a benefit in both arenas, is a bold step into the common application of renewable energy generation and use. The tests conducted within this research helped to prove the theory that the thermal energy could be taken from the concentrated cell thus producing an increase in the solar output of the cell itself. The concentration of the parabolic trough emphasized this effect by focusing the solar output onto the collector and creating a large temperature differential within the system. This experiment and its results furthered the understanding of combined energy generation systems.