P14421: Next Generation Smart PV Panel

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Your website should document your journey through MSD, so include work-in-progress as well as latest results. Use pdf's for display whenever possible so that information is easily viewable without the need to download files and open applications. (Your EDGE file repository should still contain original files).

Sample categories are listed below, but feel free to change or add nodes to better correspond to your project and your Guide’s expectations.

Project Summary

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 outputs. This fact, along with large maintenance costs and dangerous removal operations calls for a new automated form of snow elimination.

Currently, Advanced Power Solutions provide a heated solar panel technology utilizing a conductive ink made by Intrinsic Materials. Feasible prototypes have been successfully developed and tested in typical working environments.

A robust system utilizing this ink is to be developed for large-scale farm operations as well as small-scale domestic and industrial use. This system will minimize operations and maintenance costs by employing sensors that can sense the presence of snow and subsequently achieving temperatures capable of melting the snow/ice.

Link to 1-page project summary or project charter

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Customer requirements , including importance. You may also want to include links interview notes here.

Customer Needs

Customer Needs

Interview with Jasper Ball 8/29/13

Engineering Requirements (Specifications)

System-level and function-level requirements that define the intended performance of your system.
Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements


Factors, usually system-level, that limit your design space (e.g., cost, total weight, total footprint, total power available)
  1. No moving/mechanical parts
  2. Utilizes heated inks
  3. Operates in extreme climate conditions
  4. Minimizes Power

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

Expected end result of the project, what the customer can expect to receive at the end of the project.
  1. Working prototype with ink layout, control and heating systems
  2. Possible sensing methods explored
  3. Proof of Capabilities Documentation
  4. User and Assembly Manual
  5. Design Drawings
  6. BOM
  7. Edge Documentation
  8. MSD Poster
  9. Technical Paper

Solution Parking Lot

During the Problem Definition phase, you will start coming up with possible solutions. Rather than act on those now, put them in the Solution Parking Lot, and come back to them after your team has fully defined the problem.

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