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Section 5.2- Solar Array

Here is a site we can get solar parts from. They are located in California.

Solar Cell Information Site
(Solar panel discussion is in Electrical page)

Here is a list of approved cells for the race:

  • SunPower C60 Bin I - These seem to be the type that most teams use. Iowa State, Univ. of Minnesota, and Stanford use these. (22.3% efficiency)
  • Sunpower A300 (Click for specs)
  • Solarworld A-262
  • Advent Solar Ventura-(hard to get, company bought out)
  • Sunergy TBDSE125
  • China SUNERGY CSUN-HP-S125-Dia165-BB2
  • Sunpower C50
  • SCHOTT Solar Main ISO PSG 15632 Bin 32
  • Evergreen Solar Micro wire cells
  • ML Solar LLC – MLS-P3x6180
  • Suniva, Inc. ARTisun Select, 18.80
  • SolarWorld Model B-431 mono-crystalline cell

Estimating Solar Electric (PV) System Size: Are of Solar Panels

On average (as a general "rule of thumb") modern photovoltaics (PV) solar panels will produce 8 - 10 watts per square foot of solar panel area. For example, a roof area of 20 feet by 10 feet is 200 square-feet (20 ft x 10 ft). This would produce, roughly, 9 watts per sq-foot, or 200 sq-ft x 9 watts/sq-ft = 1,800 watts (1.8 kW) of electric power.

Converting Power (watts or kW) to Energy (kWh)

One kilowatt-hour (1 kWh) means an energy source supplies 1,000 watts (1 kW) of energy for one hour. Generally, a solar energy system will provide output for about 5 hours per day. So, if you have a 1.8 kW system size and it produces for 5 hours a day, 365 days a year: This solar energy system will produce 3,285 kWh in a year (1.8 kW x 5 hours x 365 days).
If the PV panels are shaded for part of the day, the output would be reduced in accordance to the shading percentage. For example, if the PV panels receive 4 hours of direct sun shine a day (versus the standard 5 hours), the panels are shaded 1 divided by 5 = 20% of the time (80% of assumed direct sun shine hours received). In this case, the output of a 200 square-foot PV panel system would be 3,285 kWh per year x 80% = 2,628 kWh per year.