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Solar Power Essay

1748 words - 7 pages

Fossil fuels are the main sources that are being used to produce energy today. They are not only being depleted, but also polluting the environment, and affecting our economical stability. Solar hydrogen and fuel cell systems when integrated together represent a new approach that promises clean and friendly energy production.
Our project’s objective is to investigate powering residential homes with solar energy and hydrogen fuel cells systems combined using a scaled down model house. This model provided cost effective studies and analysis to estimate systems efficiency, size and capacity necessary to energize an average residential home. It is also very important to establish a reference ...view middle of the document...

Current flows if there is a complete circuit. This current is utilized to meet the energy demand of a household, and to produce hydrogen.
Secondly, if the solar panels system had been designed to meet 100 percent demand of energy in the household, then the amount of energy produced by the solar panels will not be completely consumed during the period of sunlight, therefore the remaining energy will be used to produce hydrogen by electrolysis. This hydrogen will be stored in tanks to produce energy using fuel cells.
Thirdly, by providing energy from the solar panels to the electrolyzer, water can be dissociated into hydrogen and oxygen. One mole of water produces one mole of hydrogen and half mole of oxygen. The hydrogen produced in the process could be stored in tanks and be used after the sun set to supply a fuel cells system and produce energy for the remaining hours of the day .
Finally, the hydrogen gas is supply to the fuel cell system. The fuel cell system will produce energy on demand after the sun set. A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. Fuel cells consist of a polymer electrolyte membrane that is surrounded by electrodes, anode and cathode. The hydrogen is supplied to the anode and oxygen or air to the cathode.
This research paper focuses on calculating the amount of hydrogen needed by a regular household 24 hours per day against the amount of hydrogen that could be produced by the conversion of sunlight into electrical energy, and into hydrogen. Two solar modules of 15 watts output each was used. The power outputs of these two solar panels, with 0.22 square meters area each, were measured in sunlight to determine their output energy and efficiency. A Dynaload System with various electric loads was used to varying loads and currents on the solar panel from 0 A to 1.5 A. The output of these solar panels was measured three consecutives days every hour from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. After measuring their energy output, it was discovered that they reached a maximum power point of 15 watts at 15 volts and 1.0 amp. The efficiency of these solar panels is based on the fact that 100 percent efficiency is defined as 1 KW of solar radiation that 1 sq meter of earth intercepts in 1 Hour. If the solar panel has an area of 0.22 sq meter and 15 watts output, then its efficiency is about 7 percent.
In the current project, it was assumed that the average household requires more than 10,000 kWhr of energy per year. This house will use a PV system of 9.08 kW, which will need a roof area of about 1000 sf, and about 700 sf of floor plan area. The efficiency of this PV system is about 75 percent, which accounts for the inverter’s efficiency and wiring losses.
The scale for our small scale model house will be calculated based on the numbers from the full scale house. The 9 kW will be simulated by the 300 smaller version of our experiment of 30 watts PV system. The dimensions of the real...

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