Date of Award
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2022.
Photovoltaic panels are fundamental in the generation of renewable energy both on a local scale and a utility scale. The mounting systems for such panels can be costly, require large amounts of maintenance, and miss out on energy savings. Manual cleaning and single axis tracking systems leave more to be desired from such systems. In this paper, we propose, research, test and manufacture a two axes solar tracking system with integrated water cleaning to obtain the most energy savings possible from a single PV panel. Our work shows that two axis tracking combined with an automated cleaning system can provide more energy savings compared to a fixed panel system requiring manual cleaning. We have shown technical feasibility of a two axis tracking system as well as demonstrated simple design, testing, and construction of a water based cleaning system using a small water pump and PVC piping. As a result of such manufacturing and in order to improve efficiency, it is our future recommendation to integrate water and electrical home connections, create a customer experience mobile or web based application, and complete large scale long term testing.
Ehlers, Kevin; Eng, Justin; Gallo, Nicholas; Kelley, Matthew; Lung, Jonathan; and Weitzenkamp, Brian, "Dual Axis Solar Tracker With Automated Cleaning System" (2022). Mechanical Engineering Senior Theses. 114.