Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Department

Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Godi Fischer

Abstract

As the local and national clamor for foreign energy independent United States continues to grow unabated; renewable energy has been receiving increased focus and it’s widely believed that it’s not only the answer to ever increasing demand for energy in this country, but also the environmentally friendly means of meeting such demand. During the spring of 2010, I was involved with a 5KW solar power system design project; the project involved designing and building solar panels and associated accessories like the solar array mounts and Solar Inverter system. One of the key issues we ran into during the initial stage of the project was how to select efficient solar cells for panel building at a reasonable cost. While we were able to purchase good solar cells within our allocated budget, the issue of design for efficiency was not fully understood , not just in the contest of solar cells performance , but also in the overall system efficiency of the whole solar power system, hence the door was opened for this thesis. My thesis explored and expanded beyond the scope of the aforementioned project to research different avenues for improving the efficiency of solar photovoltaic power system from the solar cell level to the solar array mounting, array tracking and DC-AC inversion system techniques.

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