P14421: Next Generation Smart PV Panel


Project Summary Project Information

For an updated project description, click on the following link for the Project Readiness Package.

In 2009, the more than 50% of all PV systems were installed in regions that experience consistent snowfall. This snowfall accounts for up to a 10% decrease in PV system power outputs. This fact, along with large maintenance costs and dangerous removal operations calls for a new, automated form of snow accumulation prevention.

Currently, Advance Power Solutions is working to develop a heated solar panel technology utilizing a conductive ink made by Intrinsiq Materials. Feasible prototypes have been successfully developed and tested in typical working environments.

A initial prototype system utilizing this ink was developed for small-scale use. This system aimed to minimize operations and maintenance costs by employing sensors that can sense the presence of snow and subsequently achieving temperatures capable of melting snow once it had accumulated on top of the panel.

The final system lacked the desired ink robustness and wasn't able to properly function in cold climates and would be unable to survive the manufacturing process. The sensor system was successful in being able to detect the presence of snow, but further testing is needed to confirm it's function in varying scenarios. Further research needs to be completed in order to develop a more robust and efficient ink formula.

Advance Power Solutions
Project Name
Next Generation Smart PV Panel
Project Number
Project Family
Energy and Sustainable Systems
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Les Moore, lmoore@saunders.rit.edu
Primary Customer
Jasper Ball, jasper@advancepowersolutions.com
Sponsor (financial support)
Jasper Ball, jasper@advancepowersolutions.com

Completed Design

Subsystems Within Enclosure

Subsystems Within Enclosure

Team Members

Team 14421

Team 14421

Member Role Contact
Bobby Jones Team Lead rmj881@rit.edu
Danielle Howe Mechanical Engineer djh2852@rit.edu
Sean Kitko EE, Sensors spk4345@rit.edu
Alicia Oswald Mechanical Engineer ano5260@rit.edu
Chris Torbitt Electrical Engineer cjt3305@rit.edu

Code of Ethics

As a team, we have agreed to abide by the following code of ethics.
  1. All team members are expected to communicate effectively and professionally. Should any needs, conflicts, concerns, etc. arise, they should be brought to the intention of the group and addressed.
  2. A balanced work distribution will be achieved the honor system. Team members should volunteer to complete tasks. Constant evaluation of workloads and communication within the team will ensure that work distribution remains fair.
  3. Team roles and responsibilities will be delegated first by field of expertise. After that, tasks will be assigned on a volunteer basis. If no volunteers are present, tasks will be assigned based on current workload distribution.
  4. Individual strengths will be honored with delegation of appropriate tasks, as well as trust in decisions made regarding those tasks.
  5. Weekly meetings will be held with the team and the faculty guide to ensure regular communication. Outside of those meetings, email should be used first to communicate with the guide.
  6. Email, weekly meetings, as well as lecture periods will all be used as a means of communication between the team.
  7. Decisions will be made on a situational basis. Individual expertise will be trusted when appropriate. If the decision concerns the group as a whole, a consensus should be reached before any plan is put into action.
  8. All team members are expected to complete their assigned tasks in a timely manner. A quality of work that is acceptable to the whole group should be kept.
  9. Conflicts within the group should be resolved based on the concerned parties. Individual conflicts should be resolved first between the individuals and then follow a chain of command to the group and then the group and the faculty guide. Conflicts concerning the whole group should be resolved within the group and then continue the chain of command.

Table of Contents


Photo Gallery

Planning & Execution

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Subsystems Design

Detailed Design

Planning & Execution

Build, Test, Document

Readiness Package/Hand-off

Final Presentation

Technical Paper



We would like to thank Jasper Ball at Advance Power Solutions, LLC for providing us with the concept and funding for this project. We would also like to thank all other parties who aided in the completion of this project: Denis Cormier and Sourav Das in the Brinkman Machining Laboratory helped with ink printing. Shawn Lessord and Renewable Rochester helped with guiding the project and provided a battery for the team’s use. Intrinsiq Materials Inc. provided ink and further helped with ink printing. Lastly, we would like to thank our guide Les Moore for all of his help and guidance.