MS Defense: Tyler Otto

Defense – Thursday 9th April at 11:00am in P-250 there will be a Masters Thesis Defense presented by Tyler Otto who will talk about “Data Collection, Analysis and Modeling of Silicon Based Photovoltaic Arrays.”


As renewable energy becomes more prevalent, more information will need to be available to inform people of how exactly different technologies will behave. While the underlying physics of solar cells is well understood, wiring many cells together to form a panel, and then many panels together to form an array, makes the system behavior more complicated. This research involves collecting data on temperature, solar radiation, and the performance of five different solar arrays. The five different arrays used include single crystal, multicrystal and amorphous silicon arrays; those most commonly installed. By creating a model, which predicts the power output as a function of solar radiation and temperature, a side-by-side comparison of different arrays can be made. Current predictive models are not useful for a typical system, which is limited to operate at the maximum power point, thus adaptations to previous models have been made. This model accurately predicts the power output of different silicon based solar array. The performance data is fit to the model through use of a least squares program. The program returns fit parameters, which are related to the reduced power output caused by increased temperature, as well as the non-linear effect of solar radiation on output.

Committee Members:

Dr. Alan Sweedler (Chair, Dept. of Physics),

Dr. Michael Bromley (Dept. of Physics), and

Dr. Fletcher Miller (Dept. of Mechanical Engineering).


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