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27 February 2019 Numerical estimation of solar resource for curved panels on Earth and Mars
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Development in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has made it possible to manufacture curved or shaped panels. However, little research has been done on the topic of solar resource for curved surfaces. This project aims to develop a numerical program to estimate solar resource for a curved cylindrical panel on Earth and Mars. Numerical calculations of solar resource were performed through MATLAB using Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) empirical irradiance data for New York City. This data was used as inputs for the code and the solar resource for a cylindrical panel of different curvatures and orientation was calculated using the MATLAB program. The cylindrical surface will be discretized into segments of flat surfaces. The isotropic diffused sky solar irradiance model was then used to calculate total solar resource for the given surface. It was found that as the curvature of the panel increased, the total solar resource per unit surface area decreased while the total solar resource per unit footprint area, which is the area an object occupies on a horizontal surface, increased. In addition to quantifying the performance of a curved surface on Earth and Mars, this work shows the potential of highly efficient non-tracking curved surfaces for collecting solar resource in volume limited situations such as space travel or urban applications. The resource estimation algorithm can also be used to estimate solar resource for commercial applications and system sizing.
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Edwin Cho, Delfino Enriquez-Torres, Andrea Martinez, and Małgorzata Marciniak "Numerical estimation of solar resource for curved panels on Earth and Mars", Proc. SPIE 10913, Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices VIII, 109131J (27 February 2019);


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