Tag Archive for: photovoltaics

This report discusses the synthesis of four new symmetrical UV-absorbing diimides organic dyes for potential cosensitization process in greenhouse-integrated dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). Molecular cosensitization is favorable for manipulating solar radiation through the judicious choice of cosensitizers having complementary absorption spectra. For greenhouse-integrated dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), the manipulation of solar radiation is crucial in order to maximize the flow of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) for the effectual photosynthetic activity of plants; meanwhile, non-PAR is utilized in agrivoltaics for generating electricity.

Several agricultural farms in Nigeria are found in off-grid locations where there is the lack of water supply despite the abundant groundwater resources possessed by the country. Since water is one of the key resources for agricultural production, majority of the farms only resort to the use of fossil fuel-powered generators to pump water for their operations in Nigeria. However, concerns about the frequent increase in fuel cost, the maintenance, and the environmental issues associated with running fossil-fuel generators have driven the need for a clean and sustainable energy source. The photovoltaic (PV) pumping system is becoming more popular as an alternative energy source of water pumping for irrigation farming. This study presents the effects of total system head and solar radiation on the techno-economic design of PV-pumping system for groundwater irrigation of crop production in Nigeria. It also calculates the quantity of emissions avoided by the PV. The technical design is based on standard methodology to determine the PV capacity that can operate the pump to satisfy the daily water requirements for the crops, while the economic aspect involves the assessment of the life cycle cost and the cost of water per m3. The result reveals that the pump power ranges from 0.158 kW to 0.293 kW and the PV power ranges from 1.90 kW to 3.52 kW for a system head of 10 m and solar irradiation of 5.25 kWh/m2/day, respectively, while the unit cost of water ranges from $0.05/m3 to $0.054/m3, and the life cycle cost ranges from $7004 to $12331. This provides insights into the effects of varying the system head and the solar radiation, demonstrating that the PV-pumping system underperforms at higher system heads, but performs effectively at higher solar radiation. This is due to the decrease in the discharge rate and an increase in power output, respectively. The study will be useful for planning PV-based water pumping system for agricultural purposes. Adopting this method of supplying crop water requirements will go a long way to guarantee food security in Nigeria and other developing countries with similar climate and economic situations. Such a method is expected to lead to zero hunger in the country in the long-run.

This research presents a highly transparent concentrator photovoltaic system with solar spectral splitting for dual land use applications. The system includes a freeform lens array and a planar waveguide. Sunlight is first concentrated by the lens array and then reaches a flat waveguide. The dichroic mirror with coated prisms is located at each focused area at the bottom of a planar waveguide to split the sunlight spectrum into two spectral bands. The red and blue light, in which photosynthesis occurs at its maximum, passes through the dichroic mirror and is used for agriculture. The remaining spectrums are reflected at the dichroic mirror with coated prisms and collected by the long solar cell attached at one end of the planar waveguide by total internal reflection. Meanwhile, most of the diffused sunlight is transmitted through the system to the ground for agriculture. The system was designed using the commercial optic simulation software LightTools™ (Synopsys Inc., Mountain View, CA, USA). The results show that the proposed system with 200× concentration can achieve optical efficiency above 82.1% for the transmission of blue and red light, 94.5% for diffused sunlight, which is used for agricultural, and 81.5% optical efficiency for planar waveguides used for power generation. This system is suitable for both high Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) and low DNI areas to provide light for agriculture and electricity generation at the same time on the same land with high efficiency.

Colloidal quantum dots (QDs) are nanometer-sized semiconductor crystals grown via low-cost solution processing routes for a wide array of applications encompassing photovoltaics, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), electronics, photodetectors, photocatalysis, lasers, drug delivery, and agriculture. A comprehensive technoeconomic cost analysis of perovskite quantum dot optoelectronics is reported. Using economies-of-scale considerations based on price data from prominent materials suppliers, we have highlighted that increased QD synthesis yield, solvent recycling, and synthesis automation are critical to market adoption of this technology and driving quantum dot film fabrication costs down from >$50/m^2 to ∼$2−3/m^2

Sunnyside neighborhood in Houston, Texas, has been approved to develop the Sunnyside Solar Project, a 50-MW solar operation that will be built on a former landfill abandoned for 50 years. The project, set to be completed by the end of 2022, will be the largest urban solar project in the country, covering a total of 240 acres. Plans are also in place to include sheep grazing under the solar panels once the project is completed.  

According to a media report by PV Magazine, the mayor’s office expects that a community solar installation will be part of the project, but exactly how much is not yet defined.

The project is being developed by Sunnyside Energy LLC. The company will train and employ local workers for the project’s construction, as well as provide discounts to low-income residents in the Sunnyside neighborhood as part of its agreement with the city of Houston, according to the media report.

The project will also be the largest brownfield solar installation in the United States. A brownfield installation means the project has been developed on previously contaminated land. Transforming an abandoned landfill into a productive and clean energy farm demonstrates how degraded lands can be used to address land-use and energy issues. For more information on the Sunnyside Solar Project, read the original article on PV Magazine’s website.