Bradley M. Lehman
Gilead Tadmor, Aleksandar M. Stankovic
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Engineering. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Electrical and computer engineering, Photovoltaics, Solar power
Photovoltaic power generation
Recent technological developments in thin-film photovoltaics, such as amorphous silicon and hybrid dye sensitized photovoltaic (PV) cells are leading to new generations of portable solar arrays. These new arrays are lightweight, durable, flexible, and have been reported to achieve power efficiencies of up to 10 percent. Already, commercial-off-the-shelf arrays exist that have panels embedded in fabric that can be folded to dimensions of less than 12" x 12", yet are able to produce up to 50 Watts of power at 12V. These new products make solar power available to various types of applications. In particular, military applications are emerging to give soldier a source of power that can always be at reach. In parallel with these developments, NiMH and Li-ion batteries are increasingly being used to power various equipment. Currently, the military is field testing solar charging of its batteries with portable solar arrays. However, so far, all known charge control algorithm have failed as they commonly falsely detect overcharge at random times in the charging and leave the battery partially charged. The goal of our research is to investigate the origins of failure in existing charge control algorithms and to propose adequate algorithms that would improve the battery charging. Additionally, ways to optimize the generated photovoltaic power is critical for portable solar application as the energy produced is limited. It is known that the use of a DC-DC converter between the solar panel and the load allows optimization of the power delivered by the solar panel when "Maximum Power Point Tracking" is utilized. Therefore we are developing new solutions that address the specific problem of Maximum Power Point Tracking for modular solar panels.
Florant Michael Boico
Boico, Florent Michael, "Improving battery charging with solar panels" (2008). Electrical Engineering Dissertations. Paper 9. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10017999
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