Journal of Solar Energy The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Incorporation of Kojic Acid-Azo Dyes on TiO2 Thin Films for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells Applications Tue, 16 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Sensitization of heavy metal free organic dyes onto TiO2 thin films has gained much attention in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). A series of new kojic acid based organic dyes KA1–4 were synthesized via nucleophilic substitution of azobenzene bearing different vinyl chains A1–4 with kojyl chloride 4. Azo dyes KA1–4 were characterized for photophysical properties employing absorption spectrometry and photovoltaic characteristic in TiO2 thin film. The presence of vinyl chain in A1–4 improved the photovoltaic performance from 0.20 to 0.60%. The introduction of kojic acid obtained from sago waste further increases the efficiency to 0.82–1.54%. Based on photovoltaic performance, KA4 achieved the highest solar to electrical energy conversion efficiency ( = 1.54%) in the series. Carolynne Zie Wei Sie and Zainab Ngaini Copyright © 2017 Carolynne Zie Wei Sie and Zainab Ngaini. All rights reserved. Direct Current Sputter Epitaxy of Heavily Doped p+ Layer for Monocrystalline Si Solar Cells Sun, 07 May 2017 07:31:43 +0000 Sputter epitaxy of p+ layer for fabrication of Si solar cells (SCs) was demonstrated. Hall carrier concentration of p+ layer was 2.6 × 1020 cm−3 owing to cosputtering of B with Si at low temperature, which had enabled heavy and shallow p+ dope layer. p+nn+ SCs were fabricated and influence of p+ and n+ layers was investigated. Internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of p+nn+ SCs was 95% at visible light and was larger than 60% at ultraviolet (UV) light when the p+ layer was thinner than 30 nm. At near infrared (NIR), extra increment on IQE was achieved by rear n+ back surface field (BSF) layer with a thickness thinner than 100 nm. Wenchang Yeh and Hikaru Moriyama Copyright © 2017 Wenchang Yeh and Hikaru Moriyama. All rights reserved. Improving the Morphology of the Perovskite Absorber Layer in Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Halide Perovskite MAPbI3 Solar Cells Wed, 03 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Recently, perovskite solar cells have attracted tremendous attention due to their excellent power conversion efficiency, low cost, simple fabrications, and high photovoltaic performance. Furthermore, the perovskite solar cells are lightweight and possess thin film and semitransparency. However, the nonuniformity in perovskite layer constitutes a major setback to the operation mechanism, performance, reproducibility, and degradation of perovskite solar cells. Therefore, one of the main challenges in planar perovskite devices is the fabrication of high quality films with controlled morphology and least amount of pin-holes for high performance thin film perovskite devices. The poor reproducibility in perovskite solar cells hinders the accurate fabrication of practical devices for use in real world applications, and this is primarily as a result of the inability to control the morphology of perovskites, leading to large variability in the characteristics of perovskite solar cells. Hence, the focus of research in perovskites has been mostly geared towards improving the morphology and crystallization of perovskite absorber by selecting the optimal annealing condition considering the effect of humidity. Here we report a controlled ambient condition that is necessary to grow uniform perovskite crystals. A best PCE of 7.5% was achieved along with a short-circuit current density of 15.2 mA/cm2, an open-circuit voltage of 0.81 V, and a fill factor of 0.612 from the perovskite solar cell prepared under 60% relative humidity. I. J. Ogundana and S. Y. Foo Copyright © 2017 I. J. Ogundana and S. Y. Foo. All rights reserved. Small Scale Rollout of PV Systems in Chikwawa District, Malawi: Remote Monitoring System Effectiveness Sun, 19 Mar 2017 10:24:38 +0000 Off-grid solar photovoltaic systems in Malawi are deployed increasingly as the primary option for rural public infrastructure such as primary schools and health centres. Overall, grid-connected electricity access has remained stagnant at around 9% with only 1% of rural population connected. To improve the technical sustainability of such systems, a novel remote monitoring technology utilising Wireless Sensor Networks was installed and the systems were monitored over roughly one year. This paper has described the technical design, performance, and benefits received from deployment of the technology. Furthermore, it has evaluated the cost implications for a larger scale rollout and potential benefits. Million Mafuta, Peter Dauenhauer, and Timothy Chadza Copyright © 2017 Million Mafuta et al. All rights reserved. Solar Cooker Study under Oman Conditions for Late Evening Cooking Using Stearic Acid and Acetanilide as PCM Materials Sun, 04 Dec 2016 09:49:08 +0000 Solar energy is an alternative source of nonrenewable energy in Oman. Sultanate of Oman government showed initiation into utilization of solar energy for domestic applications. Conversion of solar radiation into useful heat is the simplest application of solar energy, in which it can be used for late evening cooking. In this context, present work highlighted the design and development of solar cooker for Oman climatic conditions. The current work signifies usage of solar cooker for late evening cooking using stearic acid and acetanilide as phase change materials (PCM). Solar cooker parts are developed in-house and connected to water heating system compounded with evacuated tubes solar collector and storage tank. The circumference of cooker unit is incorporated with spiral stainless steel heat exchanger and annulus area of the pot is filled with PCM material. PCM releases heat at late evening and effective cooking up to 7:30 PM is noticed. The experimental results indicated the cooker efficiency of 30% and collector efficiency of 60–65% during the study. Overall, experiments showed satisfactory performance on the developed cooker. Nagaraj Nayak, Hatim Abu Jarir, and Haitham Al Ghassani Copyright © 2016 Nagaraj Nayak et al. All rights reserved. Fabrication and Characterization of Porous CdS/Dye Sensitized Solar Cells Tue, 04 Oct 2016 06:33:52 +0000 Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are fabricated from porous cadmium sulfide (CdS) nanocrystalline thin films. The porous CdS nanostructured thin films are deposited onto FTO/glass substrates by the chemical bath deposition (CBD) method. The surface morphology, crystalline structure, and optical properties of the prepared nanocrystalline thin films are investigated. Rhodamine B, Malachite green, Eosin methylene blue, and Cresyl violet dyes are used to fabricate the DSSC devices. Comparing the absorption spectra of porous CdS nanocrystalline films, all dyes show an absorption peak in the transparent range of CdS thin films indicating that they are suitable for the preparation of DSSCs with CdS. Current-voltage () characteristics show that the solar cell that is fabricated using Malachite green dye shows the highest conversion efficiency of 0.83% while using Rhodamine B dye produces a solar cell with lowest efficiency of 0.38%. However, heat treatment of the fabricated solar cells causes significant enhancement in the output of all devices. Haider Abdulelah, Basil Ali, M. A. Mahdi, Ali Q. Abdullah, J. J. Hassan, H. F. Al-Taay, and P. Jennings Copyright © 2016 Haider Abdulelah et al. All rights reserved. PCM Heat Storage Charged with a Double-Reflector Solar System Tue, 02 Aug 2016 07:14:48 +0000 A “Solar Salt” (NaNO3–KNO3 60 : 40 molar mixture) latent heat storage has been charged by direct solar illumination. Solar Salt as a Phase Change Material (PCM) can be an attractive small scale heat storage solution, as the melting temperature of about 220°C can be suitable for cooking purposes. The tests were made with a double-reflector setup. In this setup a secondary reflector positioned above the focal point of the primary reflector directs the rays onto a heat storage positioned below a hole in the primary reflector. The reflectors are tracking the sun, but the storage is stationary. The direct illumination of the absorber top plate during the tracking of the sun melted the salt in the storage through conducting fins. This is a system where portable heat batteries can be charged, during sunshine hours, and then provide heat for cooking during evening times. Amos Veremachi, Boaventura Chongo Cuamba, Azher Zia, Jorgen Lovseth, and Ole Jorgen Nydal Copyright © 2016 Amos Veremachi et al. All rights reserved. Experimental Study of the Degradation of Silicon Photovoltaic Devices under Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure Sun, 31 Jul 2016 12:54:37 +0000 This paper presents an analysis of the effects of ultraviolet (UV) exposure on amorphous silicon (a-Si), bare crystalline silicon (c-Si), and epoxy resin encapsulated c-Si devices. The long-term reliability of photovoltaic (PV) modules is crucial in ensuring the viability of PV as a successful source of energy. Accelerated UV ageing methods are required to quickly evaluate the UV durability of module materials. A UV exposure unit was designed and constructed and provided an average of 45.7 W/m2 of UV irradiance over the exposure area with a nonuniformity of 14.9%. The a-Si devices lost up to 44% of maximum power () at Standard Test Conditions over 500 hours of exposure to UV, with maximum losses of 11% in short-circuit current (), 11% in open-circuit voltage (), 23% in voltage at (), and 29% in current at (). The epoxy resin encapsulated samples lost up to 6.4% in , 6% in , and 7% in with the changes in and being random. The bare cells showed relatively little degradation. UV radiation thus accelerates the degradation of a-Si devices, deteriorates polymeric encapsulates of modules, and possibly affects the antireflective coatings applied on solar cells. Heman Shamachurn and Thomas Betts Copyright © 2016 Heman Shamachurn and Thomas Betts. All rights reserved. Research Survey on Various MPPT Performance Issues to Improve the Solar PV System Efficiency Sun, 31 Jul 2016 09:58:11 +0000 Nowadays in order to meet the increase in power demands and to reduce the global warming, renewable energy sources based system is used. Out of the various renewable energy sources, solar energy is the main alternative. But, compared to other sources, the solar panel system converts only 30–40% of solar irradiation into electrical energy. In order to get maximum output from a PV panel system, an extensive research has been underway for long time so as to access the performance of PV system and to investigate the various issues related to the use of solar PV system effectively. This paper therefore presents different types of PV panel systems, maximum power point tracking control algorithms, power electronic converters usage with control aspects, various controllers, filters to reduce harmonic content, and usage of battery system for PV system. Attempts have been made to highlight the current and future issues involved in the development of PV system with improved performance. A list of 185 research publications on this is appended for reference. B. Pakkiraiah and G. Durga Sukumar Copyright © 2016 B. Pakkiraiah and G. Durga Sukumar. All rights reserved. Why Do Electricity Policy and Competitive Markets Fail to Use Advanced PV Systems to Improve Distribution Power Quality? Sun, 31 Jul 2016 07:54:53 +0000 The increasing pressure for network operators to meet distribution network power quality standards with increasing peak loads, renewable energy targets, and advances in automated distributed power electronics and communications is forcing policy-makers to understand new means to distribute costs and benefits within electricity markets. Discussions surrounding how distributed generation (DG) exhibits active voltage regulation and power factor/reactive power control and other power quality capabilities are complicated by uncertainties of baseline local distribution network power quality and to whom and how costs and benefits of improved electricity infrastructure will be allocated. DG providing ancillary services that dynamically respond to the network characteristics could lead to major network improvements. With proper market structures renewable energy systems could greatly improve power quality on distribution systems with nearly no additional cost to the grid operators. Renewable DG does have variability challenges, though this issue can be overcome with energy storage, forecasting, and advanced inverter functionality. This paper presents real data from a large-scale grid-connected PV array with large-scale storage and explores effective mitigation measures for PV system variability. We discuss useful inverter technical knowledge for policy-makers to mitigate ongoing inflation of electricity network tariff components by new DG interconnection requirements or electricity markets which value power quality and control. Mark P. McHenry, Jay Johnson, and Mike Hightower Copyright © 2016 Mark P. McHenry et al. All rights reserved. A Simple and Inexpensive Method for Evaluating the Photovoltaic Potential: Its Validation in Buenos Aires and Antarctica Wed, 20 Jul 2016 07:53:10 +0000 The use of renewable energies requires a precise and detailed quantification of the resource available. Because of the cost of solar stations or limited availability of skilled human resources, in most emerging countries, this assessment is made only on a few points scattered over large areas. We report here a simple and inexpensive method to evaluate the photovoltaic (PV) potential for a specific geographic region and a given PV capture technology. The system allows for a direct evaluation of the energy actually obtainable by scaling the measurement array of photovoltaic cells. The proposed measurement system can be installed as a stand-alone unit, or as part of a measurement network, connected to a more sophisticated central hub. The measurement station consists of said PV array (or similar PV array), a resistor, and a portable data logger. The system is calibrated with a device composed of a small array of PV cells, a resistor load bank, and two multimeters. Due to its low cost, this system can be replicated as many times as required with minimal investment. This would make it possible to evaluate the available photovoltaic potential of large regions with accurate and detailed data. Measurements carried out in Buenos Aires and in Antarctica confirm the consistency of the method. Marcelo D. Cabezas, Jorge A. Hawryluk, Juan I. Franco, and Héctor J. Fasoli Copyright © 2016 Marcelo D. Cabezas et al. All rights reserved. Comparative Study of Ground Measured, Satellite-Derived, and Estimated Global Solar Radiation Data in Nigeria Wed, 29 Jun 2016 15:09:57 +0000 In this study, the performance of three global solar radiation models and the accuracy of global solar radiation data derived from three sources were compared. Twenty-two years (1984–2005) of surface meteorological data consisting of monthly mean daily sunshine duration, minimum and maximum temperatures, and global solar radiation collected from the Nigerian Meteorological (NIMET) Agency, Oshodi, Lagos, and the National Aeronautics Space Agency (NASA) for three locations in North-Western region of Nigeria were used. A new model incorporating Garcia model into Angstrom-Prescott model was proposed for estimating global radiation in Nigeria. The performances of the models used were determined by using mean bias error (MBE), mean percentage error (MPE), root mean square error (RMSE), and coefficient of determination (). Based on the statistical error indices, the proposed model was found to have the best accuracy with the least RMSE values (0.376 for Sokoto, 0.463 for Kaduna, and 0.449 for Kano) and highest coefficient of determination, values of 0.922, 0.938, and 0.961 for Sokoto, Kano, and Kaduna, respectively. Also, the comparative study result indicates that the estimated global radiation from the proposed model has a better error range and fits the ground measured data better than the satellite-derived data. Boluwaji M. Olomiyesan and Onyedi D. Oyedum Copyright © 2016 Boluwaji M. Olomiyesan and Onyedi D. Oyedum. All rights reserved. Characterization and Experimental Investigation of NaNO3 : KNO3 as Solar Thermal Energy Storage for Potential Cooking Application Tue, 28 Jun 2016 12:20:47 +0000 Household cooking is a major energy intensive activity in most of the Ethiopian households. Replacing the existing inefficient cooking stoves and the polluting energy source with a renewable source of energy plays a paramount role in conserving the environment and reducing the indoor pollution. In this study an energy storage phase change material is proposed to store solar thermal energy for a potential household cooking application. The selected phase change material has a melting point range which is well fitted to the operating range of temperatures for most of the household cooking activities. The solar energy source is simulated with electrical heating for experimental investigation of the thermal characteristics. Also it is intended to study the thermal characteristics of the mixture using deferential scanning calorimeter to identify at which mass ratio the mixture shows better thermal characteristics. From the laboratory analysis it is found that the 60% NaNO3 and 40% KNO3 by mass have shown promising thermal characteristics. For applying the selected salt mixture for cooking application, an experiment was conducted on two Ethiopian local meals, shiro wet and potato meal, to know how much energy is required to cook them and what amount of the PCM is required to store the required energy. The result reveals that 2.38 kWh energy is required for cooking the two meals for five family members for lunch and dinner. To store the energy required 4 kg of the PCM was required. Experiments were conducted to see the charging and discharging time of 60% NaNO3 and 40% KNO3 by mass. From the experimental result for 1.4 kg of the PCM, charging time of 50 minutes up to 300°C and a discharging time of 4.5 hours (from 300°C to 100°C) are required. Elias Wagari Gabisa and Abdulkadir Aman Copyright © 2016 Elias Wagari Gabisa and Abdulkadir Aman. All rights reserved. A Cost Effective Desalination Plant Using a Solar Chimney with Recycled Aluminum Can Collector Wed, 08 Jun 2016 11:59:57 +0000 The main objective of the work was to use solar energy for desalination of water. A solar chimney desalination system, which includes the solar chimney, solar collector, evaporation system, and passive condenser, was designed and built. The air enters into collector and gets heated and released at the bottom of chimney. Due to draught effect dry air goes upward. The air is humidified by spraying salt water into the hot air stream using a mistifier at the middle of chimney. Then, the partial vapours contained in the air are condensed to give desalinated water. The performance of the integrated system including power and potable water production was estimated and the results were discussed. With a 3.4 m height setup, experimental test rig was capable of evaporating 3.77 L water daily condensing 2.3 L water. It is compact in nature as it is easy to assemble and dissemble. It can be used for purifying rain water in summer under rain water harvesting. Because of using country wood, recycled Al cans, and GI sheet in fabrication, it is lower in cost. Singuru Rajesh and Ravipati Bapaiah Choudary Copyright © 2016 Singuru Rajesh and Ravipati Bapaiah Choudary. All rights reserved. An Assessment of Grid-Charged Inverter-Battery Systems for Domestic Applications in Ghana Mon, 06 Jun 2016 12:41:09 +0000 Ghana, like many African countries, is currently facing power supply shortage, which has led to load shedding. To minimize the impact of the power crisis, options such as diesel and petrol generators, grid-charged battery-inverter systems (GBIS), and solar PV with battery storage (SPVS) have been used in residential and nonresidential contexts. In this paper, we develop analytical models to conduct a technical and economic comparison of GBIS and SPVS systems. Using average electricity tariff of 0.186 for residential sector (excluding lifeline customers) we show that although initial cost of SPVS is higher, it costs 30% less than GBIS. We also show that losses associated with the GBIS are as high as 42% when viewed from a systems perspective and that some of its costs are externalized. We conclude by commending the Ghana Government’s initiative of rolling out 200,000 residential rooftop solar systems and recommend an increase in system capacities as well as a similar programme for nonresidential facilities. David A. Quansah, Muyiwa S. Adaramola, Isaac A. Edwin, and Emmanuel K. Anto Copyright © 2016 David A. Quansah et al. All rights reserved. Correlation of Global Solar Radiation of Eight Synoptic Stations in Burkina Faso Based on Linear and Multiple Linear Regression Methods Mon, 29 Feb 2016 14:44:43 +0000 We utilize the multiple linear regression method to analyse meteorological data for eight cities in Burkina Faso. A correlation between the monthly mean daily global solar radiation on a horizontal surface and five meteorological and geographical parameters, which are the mean daily extraterrestrial solar radiation intensity, the average daily ratio of sunshine duration, the mean daily relative humidity, the mean daily maximum air temperature, and the sine of the solar declination angle, was examined. A second correlation is established for the entire country, using, this time, the monthly mean global solar radiation on a horizontal surface and the following climatic variables: the average daily ratio of sunshine duration, the latitude, and the longitude. The results show that the coefficients of correlation vary between 0.96 and 0.99 depending on the station while the relative errors spread between −3.16% (Pô) and 3.65% (Dédougou). The maximum value of the RMSD which is 312.36 kJ/m2 is obtained at Dori, which receives the strongest radiation. For the entire cities, the values of the MBD are found to be in the acceptable margin. Ousmane Coulibaly and Abdoulaye Ouedraogo Copyright © 2016 Ousmane Coulibaly and Abdoulaye Ouedraogo. All rights reserved. Symmetric Compound Parabolic Concentrator with Indium Tin Oxide Coated Glass as Passive Cooling System for Photovoltaic Application Sun, 28 Feb 2016 13:57:09 +0000 One problem with concentrating photovoltaic systems is the increase in operating photovoltaic module temperature which results in power output reduction. Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) coated glasses exhibit both high transmittance in the visible region and high reflectance in the infrared region of the solar spectrum. Such materials can be used as selective windows in photovoltaic modules operating under concentrating system enabling passive cooling. In this paper, a Heat Reflector Window (HRW) consisting of a glass coated with 180 nm layer of ITO was experimentally tested. The ITO coated glass had a transmittance of about 85% in the visible region and over 80% reflectance in the infrared region of the solar spectrum and was placed at the exit aperture of a Compound Parabolic Concentrator (CPC). Results indicate that the temperature of a photovoltaic module under CPC with the HRW was reduced by about 50% as compared to a similar photovoltaic module with CPC but without the HRW. However, due to presence of the HRW at the exit aperture of the CPC, the photovoltaic module with the CPC and HRW received less solar irradiance compared to a similar photovoltaic module with the CPC but without HRW. Damasen Ikwaba Paul Copyright © 2016 Damasen Ikwaba Paul. All rights reserved. Dependence of the Photocurrent of a Schottky-Barrier Solar Cell on the Back Surface Recombination Velocity and Suggestion for a Structure with Improved Performance Sun, 20 Dec 2015 15:23:15 +0000 Though Schottky-barrier solar cells have been studied extensively previously, not much work has been done recently on these cells, because of the fact that conventional p-n junction silicon solar cells have much higher efficiency and have attracted the attention of most of the researchers. However, the Schottky-barrier solar cells have the advantage of simple and economical fabrication process. In this paper, the effect of back surface recombination velocity on the minority carrier distribution and the spectral response of a Schottky-barrier silicon solar cell have been investigated and, based on this study, a new design of the cell with a back surface field has been suggested, which is expected to give much improved performance. Avigyan Chatterjee, Ashim Kumar Biswas, and Amitabha Sinha Copyright © 2015 Avigyan Chatterjee et al. All rights reserved. A Modified Control Scheme of Droop-Based Converters for Power Stability Analysis in Microgrids Mon, 23 Nov 2015 08:34:29 +0000 Microgrid is principally an active distribution network since it aggregates numerous DG systems through their interface converters and different loads at distribution level. This paper discusses the power sharing in autonomous AC-microgrid infrastructure by common - and - droop control schemes on parallel-connected converters. Moreover, this research work proposes a frequency and voltage restoration mechanism through the utilization of secondary control. Experimental results are presented for a two-50 kVA parallel-connected converter-based system, demonstrating the necessity for the proper operation of the secondary control in order to monitor the system’s capability to withstand any perturbations that may occur and to ensure the system’s security. Igor Usunariz, Mikel Santamaria, Konstantina Mentesidi, and Monica Aguado Copyright © 2015 Igor Usunariz et al. All rights reserved. The Potential of Concentrated Solar Power for Remote Mine Sites in the Northern Territory, Australia Thu, 19 Nov 2015 08:57:06 +0000 The Northern Territory (NT) is among the regions in Australia and the world with the highest solar radiation intensities. The NT has many mine sites which consume significant amount of fossil fuel with consequent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The environmental concern related to the fossil fuel consumption and availability of immense solar energy resource in the NT open the possibilities for considering the provision of power to the mining sites using proven solar technologies. Concentrating solar power (CSP) systems are deemed as the potential alternatives to current fossil fuel based generating systems in mining industry in the NT. The finding is based on consideration of the major factors in determining the feasibility of CSP system installation, with particular reference to the NT mine sites. These are plant design requirements, climatic, environmental, and other requirements, and capital and operating costs. Based on these factors, four mine sites have been identified as having the potential for CSP plants installation. These are McArthur River Mine, Ranger Mine, Northern Territory Gold Mines, and Tanami Operations. Each site could be served by one CSP plant to cater for the needs of mining operation and the local communities. M. H. Baig, D. Surovtseva, and E. Halawa Copyright © 2015 M. H. Baig et al. All rights reserved. A Dynamic Multinode Model for Component-Oriented Thermal Analysis of Flat-Plate Solar Collectors Thu, 05 Nov 2015 11:56:44 +0000 A mathematical model of a flat-plate solar collector was developed on the basis of the physical principles of optics and heat transfer in order to determine collector’s component temperatures as well as collector efficiency. In contrast to many available models, the targeted use of this dynamic model is the detailed, theoretical investigation of the thermal behaviour of newly developed or adjusted collector designs on component level, for example, absorber, casing, or transparent cover. The defined model is based on a multinode network (absorber, fluid, glazing, and backside insulation) containing the relevant physical equations to transfer the energy. The heat transfer network covers heat conduction, convection, and radiation. Furthermore, the collector optics is defined for the plane glazing and the absorber surface and also considers interactions between them. The model enables the variation of physical properties considering the geometric parameters and materials. Finally, the model was validated using measurement data and existing efficiency curve models. Both comparisons proved high accuracy of the developed model with deviation of up to 3% in collector efficiency and 1 K in component temperatures. Christoph N. Reiter, Christoph Trinkl, Wilfried Zörner, and Vic I. Hanby Copyright © 2015 Christoph N. Reiter et al. All rights reserved. Ray Tracing Study of Optical Characteristics of the Solar Image in the Receiver for a Thermal Solar Parabolic Dish Collector Thu, 29 Oct 2015 13:50:15 +0000 This study presents the geometric aspects of the focal image for a solar parabolic concentrator (SPC) using the ray tracing technique to establish parameters that allow the designation of the most suitable geometry for coupling the SPC to absorber-receiver. The efficient conversion of solar radiation into heat at these temperature levels requires a use of concentrating solar collectors. In this paper detailed optical design of the solar parabolic dish concentrator is presented. The system has diameter  mm and focal distance  mm. The parabolic dish of the solar system consists of 11 curvilinear trapezoidal reflective petals. For the construction of the solar collectors, mild steel-sheet and square pipe were used as the shell support for the reflecting surfaces. This paper presents optical simulations of the parabolic solar concentrator unit using the ray tracing software TracePro. The total flux on the receiver and the distribution of irradiance for absorbing flux on center and periphery receiver are given. The goal of this paper is to present the optical design of a low-tech solar concentrator that can be used as a potentially low cost tool for laboratory scale research on the medium-temperature thermal processes, cooling, industrial processes, polygeneration systems, and so forth. Saša R. Pavlovic and Velimir P. Stefanovic Copyright © 2015 Saša R. Pavlovic and Velimir P. Stefanovic. All rights reserved. Analysis of Global Solar Irradiance over Climatic Zones in Nigeria for Solar Energy Applications Mon, 12 Oct 2015 13:35:20 +0000 Satellite derived solar irradiance over 25 locations in the 5 climatic zones of Nigeria (tropical rainforest TRF, Guinea savannah GS, Sahel savannah SHS, Sudan savannah SUS, and Mangrove swamp forest MSF) was analyzed. To justify its use, the satellite data was tested for goodness of agreement with ground measured solar radiation data using 26-year mean monthly and daily data over 16 locations in the 5 climatic zones. The well-known R2, RMSE, MBE, and MPE statistical tests were used and good agreement was found. The 25 locations were grouped into the 5 climatic zones. Frequency distribution of global solar irradiance was done for each of the climatic zones. This showed that 46.88%, and 40.6% of the number of days (9794) over TRF and MSF, respectively, had irradiation within the range of 15.01–20.01 MJ/m2/day. For the GS, SHS, and SUS, 46.19%, 55.84% and 58.53% of the days had total irradiation within the range of 20.01–25.01 MJ/m2/day, respectively. Generally, in all the climatic zones, coefficients of variation of solar radiation were high and mean values were low in July and August. Contour maps showed that high and low values of global solar irradiance and clearness index were observed in the Northern and Southern locations of Nigeria, respectively. Adekunle Ayodotun Osinowo, Emmanuel Chilekwu Okogbue, Stephen Bunmi Ogungbenro, and Olugbenga Fashanu Copyright © 2015 Adekunle Ayodotun Osinowo et al. All rights reserved. Global Annual Final AC Yield Comparison between HCPV and c-Si PV Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:03:14 +0000 A worldwide comparison of the annual yield between conventional c-Si photovoltaic (PV) technology and high concentrated photovoltaic (HCPV) technology is presented. The idea of this paper is to find the most appropriate locations for HCPV systems in terms of the annual energy produced when comparing to fixed tilt PV systems and two-axis oriented PY systems. For estimating the annual energy generation, the method of the Performance Ratio is used. For some locations with high annual direct normal irradiation values, which are distributed around the world, HCPV systems are found to be more advantageous than fixed tilt PV systems. World maps showing this comparison are presented. Juan Pablo Ferrer-Rodríguez, Pedro Pérez-Higueras, Florencia Almonacid, and Eduardo F. Fernández Copyright © 2015 Juan Pablo Ferrer-Rodríguez et al. All rights reserved. Simulations Based on Experimental Data of the Behaviour of a Monocrystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Module Mon, 31 Aug 2015 11:43:37 +0000 The performance of monocrystalline silicon cells depends widely on the parameters like the series and shunt resistances, the diode reverse saturation current, and the ideality factor. Many authors consider these parameters as constant while others determine their values based on the characteristic when the module is under illumination or in the dark. This paper presents a new method for extracting the series resistance, the diode reverse saturation current, and the ideality factor. The proposed extraction method using the least square method is based on the fitting of experimental data recorded in 2014 in Ngaoundere, Cameroon. The results show that the ideality factor can be considered as constant and equal to 1.2 for the monocrystalline silicon module. The diode reverse saturation current depends only on the temperature. And the series resistance decreases when the irradiance increases. The extracted values of these parameters contribute to the best modeling of a photovoltaic module which can help in the accurate extraction of the maximum power. Abraham Dandoussou, Martin Kamta, Laurent Bitjoka, Patrice Wira, and Alexis Kuitché Copyright © 2015 Abraham Dandoussou et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Different Types of Recombination Active Defects on the Integral Electrical Properties of Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells Sun, 08 Mar 2015 08:08:12 +0000 In this contribution the influence of different types of recombination-active defects on the integral electrical properties of multicrystalline Si solar cells is investigated. Based on a previous classification scheme related to the luminescence behavior of crystal defects, Type-A and Type-B defects are locally distinguished. It is shown that Type-A defects, correlated to iron contaminations, are dominating the efficiency by more than 20% relative through their impact on the short circuit current ISC and open circuit voltage VOC in standard Si material (only limited by recombination active crystal defects). Contrarily, Type-B defects show low influence on the efficiency of 3% relative. The impact of the detrimental Type-A defects on the electrical parameters is studied as a function of the block height. A clear correlation between the area fraction of Type-A defects and both the global Isc and the prebreakdown behavior (reverse current) in voltage regime-2 (−11 V) is observed. An outlier having an increased full-area recombination activity is traced back to dense inter- and intragrain nucleation of Fe precipitates. Based on these results it is concluded that Type-A defects are the most detrimental defects in Si solar cells (having efficiencies > 15%) and have to be prevented by optimized Si material quality and solar cell process conditions. Dominik Lausch and Christian Hagendorf Copyright © 2015 Dominik Lausch and Christian Hagendorf. All rights reserved. Spatial Approach of Artificial Neural Network for Solar Radiation Forecasting: Modeling Issues Wed, 18 Feb 2015 07:07:48 +0000 Design of neural networks architecture has been done on setting up the number of neurons, delays, and activation functions. The expected model was initiated and tested with Indian solar horizontal irradiation (GHI) metrological data. The results are assessed using the effect of different statistical errors. The effort is made to verify simulation capability of ANN architecture accurately, on hourly radiation data. ANN model is a well-organized technique to estimate the radiation using different meteorological database. In this paper, we have used nine spatial neighbour locations and 10 years of data for assessment of neural network. Hence, overall 90 different inputs are compared, on customized ANN model. Results show the flexibility with respect to spatial orientation of model inputs. Yashwant Kashyap, Ankit Bansal, and Anil K. Sao Copyright © 2015 Yashwant Kashyap et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Solar Tracker Based on Omnidirectional Computer Vision Sat, 31 Jan 2015 13:36:15 +0000 This paper presents a novel solar tracker system based on omnidirectional vision technology. The analysis of acquired images with a catadioptric camera allows extracting accurate information about the sun position toward both elevation and azimuth. The main advantages of this system are its wide field of tracking of 360° horizontally and 200° vertically. The system has the ability to track the sun in real time independently of the spatiotemporal coordinates of the site. The extracted information is used to control the two DC motors of the dual-axis mechanism to achieve the optimal orientation of the photovoltaic panels with the aim of increasing the power generation. Several experimental studies have been conducted and the obtained results confirm the power generation efficiency of the proposed solar tracker. Zakaria El Kadmiri, Omar El Kadmiri, Lhoussaine Masmoudi, and Mohammed Najib Bargach Copyright © 2015 Zakaria El Kadmiri et al. All rights reserved. Coordinated Collaboration between Heterogeneous Distributed Energy Resources Tue, 02 Dec 2014 12:57:21 +0000 A power distribution feeder, where a heterogeneous set of distributed energy resources is deployed, is examined by simulation. The energy resources include PV, battery storage, natural gas GenSet, fuel cells, and active thermal storage for commercial buildings. The resource scenario considered is one that may exist in a not too distant future. Two cases of interaction between different resources are examined. One interaction involves a GenSet used to partially offset the duty cycle of a smoothing battery connected to a large PV system. The other example involves the coordination of twenty thermal storage devices, each associated with a commercial building. Storage devices are intended to provide maximum benefit to the building, but it is shown that this can have a deleterious effect on the overall system, unless the action of the individual storage devices is coordinated. A network based approach is also introduced to calculate some type of effectiveness metric to all available resources which take part in coordinated operation. The main finding is that it is possible to achieve synergy between DERs on a system; however this required a unified strategy to coordinate the action of all devices in a decentralized way. Shahin Abdollahy, Olga Lavrova, and Andrea Mammoli Copyright © 2014 Shahin Abdollahy et al. All rights reserved. Interfacial Properties of CZTS Thin Film Solar Cell Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:42:03 +0000 Cu-deficient CZTS (copper zinc tin sulfide) thin films were grown on soda lime as well as molybdenum coated soda lime glass by reactive cosputtering. Polycrystalline CZTS film with kesterite structure was produced by annealing it at 500°C in Ar atmosphere. These films were characterized for compositional, structural, surface morphological, optical, and transport properties using energy dispersive X-ray analysis, glancing incidence X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and Hall effect measurement. A CZTS solar cell device having conversion efficiency of ~0.11% has been made by depositing CdS, ZnO, ITO, and Al layers over the CZTS thin film deposited on Mo coated soda lime glass. The series resistance of the device was very high. The interfacial properties of device were characterized by cross-sectional SEM and cross-sectional HRTEM. N. Muhunthan, Om Pal Singh, M. K. Thakur, P. Karthikeyan, Dinesh Singh, M. Saravanan, and V. N. Singh Copyright © 2014 N. Muhunthan et al. All rights reserved.