This week members of the SCORS group met and tested the angular dependence of the smaller solar cells; the angular dependence of a cell relates the angle between the surface of the solar cell and the amount of energy converted. This parameter is important because the position of the sun in the sky varies from season to season. By determining the values of these parameters, the optimal positioning of the cells can be determined.
At this point in time the SCORS group is keeping busy constructing the outdoor testing setup for the four smaller solar cells. The setup includes creating a support structure for the cells as well as designing the testing regimes. Data from the large, permanent cell is continually being collected.
The large solar panel is in the process of being tested and data acquisition is running smoothly; we now need to begin testing the smaller solar cells. It was decided this should first be done in a laboratory setting where variables are easily controlled, as to collect comparable data. When this stage is complete, the testing of the smaller solar cells will also be moved outside. The next task for SCORS is creating an automated testing mechanism for the smaller cells to take many measurements each day. Hopefully this will be accomplished by the next meeting and testing can begin within the week. Click here for some photographs.
We recently installed the first test panel on the roof, and have begun to take preliminary measurements. Click here for some photographs.
In honor of Earth Week, members of SCORS met with students interested in alternative energy use on campus. We showed them the smaller test panels, as well as the large panel. This panel has now been reinstalled on the roof of Small and hooked up to a boat batter which is currently charging a laptop and weather station, allowing us to resume data collection.
Elana Urbach, President of SPS