P07421: Sustainable Technologies for the RIT Campus - Phase I

Photovoltaic Cell Information

Table of Contents


To look into the installation of a PV array on a building(s) on RIT campus to help provide electricity for an existing building system. Space conditioning would be the primary use of this collected energy since this is the primary electrical load on the building. Space conditioning is generally the HVAC units and system in the building. This concept would consist of the array being places atop the building and the energy from the sunlight is sent to an inverter where it is then turned into electricity. These arrays could be roof tiles or panels that can be located on the roof or side of a building and directed so as to absorb as much direct solar radiation as is possible. A analyzation will be done on how the buildings currently utilize this technology and how we can implement this into both new and existing building on RIT campus.

Core Team Members


There are a few benefits that are expected as an outcome of this project. On a global scale people are becoming more aware of negative emissions and green house gasses and this project will improve RITs position on this. This project will also create a small scale working model of a PV system that can be utilized to find out the feasibility of PV cells being used on the RIT campus and any other location in this area.

Objective and scope

There are several benefits to designing and building a photovoltaic demonstrator. The overall goal of this project is to decrease the energy consumption per FTE student on the Rochester Institute of Technology campus. With this project we are hoping to not only develop a demonstrator to aide in educating students about photovoltaics but also to show the potential of a system and its uses on campus
  1. Analyze a small PV system.
  2. Perform a design analysis including location, materials, size etc.
  3. Discover the storage capabilities of a PV system.
  4. Research into the different allocations of energy.
  5. Evaluate PV cells and how RIT can utilize this form of power to reduce



Issues and Risks


  1. Cost analysis
  2. Total cost of components
  3. Preferred locations and possible applications
  4. Available Technology
  5. Environmental Impact
  6. Storage Methods
  7. Comparison of Design Alternatives
  1. Construction of System
  2. Sunlight Data Collection and Analysis

Why project was not chosen

The main reason that the PV cell project was not chosen for Senior Design Two was because of the lack of sun in the Rochester area.


The diagrams to the right shows the differnece between two case scenerios, the nonpivot and the pivot PV cells. public/PivotandNonPivot.jpg
public/AutomaticPivitUnit.jpg The diagram to the left shows a typical schematic of how a PV cell construction would work. In this situation the PV cell is on a motorized arm that will allow it to move towards direction of the sun absorbing the highest amount of energy.
The schematic to the right is a quick over view of how a typical DC PV cell can be manipulated to a function in an AC environment. This kind of a setup usually consists of a charger, battery and an inverter. Image:acunitconverter.jpg
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Supplementary files

Dec 21st 2006 Document This document provides information on several key terminologies, a list of concepts that would have been looked upon if concept was chosen and finally a revised schedule that was implemented in Senior Design 1.
Generation and Selection This document provides a robust and detailed analysis of the generation and Selection that were implemented to choosing the appropriate PV cells and their usages in the RIT campus.
Deep cycle battery This document provides information of one kind of deep cycle battery. It has its price, and purchasing information.
PV project Description This document gives a quick memorandum of the whole PV project. It includes scopes of the project, its issues and potential Senior Design 2 issues that might be looked at.
PV Power Inverters This document provides highly detailed information on the 3000 and 6000 Watt Photovoltaic power invert. A 12V to 110 and 120V AC.
PV System Cost This document is a excel spread sheet that includes the break down cost of a PV system unit.
Concept Solar Panel Sketches This document is the Microsoft Visio file that provides several conceptual sketches of a PV system.
Solar Panel Sketches This document is a Microsoft Visio file that provides several different sketches for the Solar Panel unit.
Types of PV Cells This document is a Microsoft Excel file that contains different types of PV cells, their cost and their potential payback period.
Wiring Diagram.png This file is a visual overview of a wiring diagram for the PV cell system.
PV Cell packet This is a final packet proposed during the end of Senior Design 1 stating everything that was done during that quarter.


Also know as PV, is a solar power technology that uses solar cells or solar photovoltaic arrays to convert energy from the sun to electricity. Photovoltaics is also the field of study relating to this technology.
Photovoltaic Module
Is a composition of individual PC cells
PV Array
Is a linkage of the assembly of modules
High Intensity PV Cells
Cells that utilize direct solar rays
Low Intensity PV Cells
Cells that utilize light rays from low intensity sources sucha s a light bulb. These cells tend to not work well with solar radiation
Building Integrate Photovoltaic (BIPV)
The utilization of PV to power a portion of buildings sysyems such as heating and cooling.
Energy Return on Investement
This is how many times larger the profit of the device is over the lifespan as compared to the initial investment. For instance if a system takes two years to pay off and the life span is 30 years then the Energy Return on Investerm is 15
Test Bed
System set up for educational purposes wheter it is for studenr learning or scientific observation
Test ved set up that had different variables that can be changed to observe how the system responds to different conditions.
Laboratory Trainer
Test bed that will be assembled by the student then used as a learing tool
Photovoltaic Effect
The conversion or separation of photogenerated charged carriers to a conductive contact that will generate electricity.