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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Subject
Date Range
2011 2018


The object of this study was a 26 year old residential Photovoltaic (PV) monocrystalline silicon (c-Si) power plant, called Solar One, built by developer John F. Long in Phoenix, Arizona (a hot-dry field condition). The task for Arizona State University Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (ASU-PRL) graduate students was to evaluate the power plant through visual inspection, electrical performance, and infrared thermography. The purpose of this evaluation was to measure and understand the extent of degradation to the system along with the identification of the failure modes in this hot-dry climatic condition. This 4000 module bipolar system was originally installed with a …

Contributors
Belmont, Jonathan Mark, Tamizhmani, Govindasamy, Henderson, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2013

Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are currently being explored as a cheaper alternative to the more common silicon (Si) solar cell technology. In addition to the cost advantages, DSSCs show good performance in low light conditions and are not sensitive to varying angles of incident light like traditional Si cells. One of the major challenges facing DSSCs is loss of the liquid electrolyte, through evaporation or leakage, which lowers stability and leads to increased degradation. Current research with solid-state and quasi-solid DSSCs has shown success regarding a reduction of electrolyte loss, but at a cost of lower conversion efficiency output. …

Contributors
Main, Laura, Munukutla, Lakshmi, Madakannan, Arunachalanadar, et al.
Created Date
2012

This is a two part thesis: Part – I This part of the thesis involves automation of statistical risk analysis of photovoltaic (PV) power plants. Statistical risk analysis on the field observed defects/failures in the PV power plants is usually carried out using a combination of several manual methods which are often laborious, time consuming and prone to human errors. In order to mitigate these issues, an automated statistical risk analysis (FMECA) is necessary. The automation developed and presented in this project generates about 20 different reliability risk plots in about 3-4 minutes without the need of several manual labor …

Contributors
Moorthy, Mathan Kumar, Govindasamy, Tamizhmani, Devarajan, Srinivasan, et al.
Created Date
2015

Performance of photovoltaic (PV) modules decrease as the operating temperatures increase. In hot climatic conditions, the operating temperature can reach as high as 85°C for the rooftop modules. Considering a typical power drop of 0.5%/°C for crystalline silicon modules, a performance decrease of approximately 30% could be expected during peak summer seasons due to the difference between module rated temperature of 25°C and operating temperature of 85°C. Therefore, it is critical to accurately predict the temperature of the modules so the performance can be accurately predicted. The module operating temperature is based not only on the ambient and irradiance conditions …

Contributors
Natarajan Rammohan, Balamurali, Tamizhmani, Govindasamy, Srinivasan, Devarajan, et al.
Created Date
2017

The deposition of airborne dust, especially in desert conditions, is very problematic as it leads to significant loss of power of photovoltaic (PV) modules on a daily basis during the dry period. As such, PV testing laboratories around the world have been trying to set up soil deposition stations to artificially deposit soil layers and to simulate outdoor soiling conditions in an accelerated manner. This thesis is a part of a twin thesis. The first thesis, authored by Shanmukha Mantha, is associated with the designing of an artificial soiling station. The second thesis (this thesis), authored by Darshan Choudhary, is …

Contributors
Choudhary, Darshan, Tamizhmani, Govindasamy, Rogers, Bradley Barney, et al.
Created Date
2016

This work aimed to characterize and optimize the variables that influence the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) preparation using design of experiment (DOE) approach. In the process of GDL preparation, the quantity of carbon support and Teflon were found to have significant influence on the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). Characterization methods like surface roughness, wetting characteristics, microstructure surface morphology, pore size distribution, thermal conductivity of GDLs were examined using laser interferometer, Goniometer, SEM, porosimetry and thermal conductivity analyzer respectively. The GDLs were evaluated in single cell PEMFC under various operating conditions of temperature and relative humidity (RH) using air …

Contributors
Kasat, Harshal Kasat, Kannan, Arunachalana, Phelan, Patrick, et al.
Created Date
2016

The complicated, unpredictable, and often chaotic hot water usage pattern of typical households severely limits the effectiveness and efficiency of traditional solar hot water heater systems. Similar to large scale concentrating solar power plants, the use of thermal energy storage techniques to store collected solar energy as latent heat has the potential to improve the efficiency of solar hot water systems. Rather than being used to produce steam to generate electricity, the stored thermal energy would be used to heat water on-demand well after the sun sets. The scope of this thesis was to design, analyze, build, and test a …

Contributors
Petre, Andrew Scott Lewis, Rajadas, John N, Madakannan, Arunachalanadar, et al.
Created Date
2015

The prevalence of renewable generation will increase in the next several decades and offset conventional generation more and more. Yet this increase is not coming without challenges. Solar, wind, and even some water resources are intermittent and unpredictable, and thereby create scheduling challenges due to their inherent “uncontrolled” nature. To effectively manage these distributed renewable assets, new control algorithms must be developed for applications including energy management, bridge power, and system stability. This can be completed through a centralized control center though efforts are being made to parallel the control architecture with the organization of the renewable assets themselves—namely, distributed …

Contributors
Cardwell, Joseph Farrand, Johnson, Nathan, Rogers, Bradley, et al.
Created Date
2015

The ability to shift the photovoltaic (PV) power curve and make the energy accessible during peak hours can be accomplished through pairing solar PV with energy storage technologies. A prototype hybrid air conditioning system (HACS), built under supervision of project head Patrick Phelan, consists of PV modules running a DC compressor that operates a conventional HVAC system paired with a second evaporator submerged within a thermal storage tank. The thermal storage is a 0.284m3 or 75 gallon freezer filled with Cryogel balls, submerged in a weak glycol solution. It is paired with its own separate air handler, circulating the glycol …

Contributors
Peyton-Levine, Tobin, Phelan, Patrick, Trimble, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2012

This study evaluates two photovoltaic (PV) power plants based on electrical performance measurements, diode checks, visual inspections and infrared scanning. The purpose of this study is to measure degradation rates of performance parameters (Pmax, Isc, Voc, Vmax, Imax and FF) and to identify the failure modes in a "hot-dry desert" climatic condition along with quantitative determination of safety failure rates and reliability failure rates. The data obtained from this study can be used by module manufacturers in determining the warranty limits of their modules and also by banks, investors, project developers and users in determining appropriate financing or decommissioning models. …

Contributors
Mallineni, Jaya Krishna, Govindasamy, Tamizhmani, Devarajan, Srinivasan, et al.
Created Date
2013

While the piezoelectric effect has been around for some time, it has only recently caught interest as a potential sustainable energy harvesting device. Piezoelectric energy harvesting has been developed for shoes and panels, but has yet to be integrated into a marketable bicycle tire. For this thesis, the development and feasibility of a piezoelectric tire was done. This includes the development of a circuit that incorporates piezoceramic elements, energy harvesting circuitry, and an energy storage device. A single phase circuit was designed using an ac-dc diode rectifier. An electrolytic capacitor was used as the energy storage device. A financial feasibility …

Contributors
Malotte, Christopher Gilbert, Madakannan, Arunachalanadar, Srinivasan, Devarajan, et al.
Created Date
2012

A primary motivation of research in photovoltaic technology is to obtain higher efficiency photovoltaic devices at reduced cost of production so that solar electricity can be cost competitive. The majority of photovoltaic technologies are based on p-n junction, with efficiency potential being much lower than the thermodynamic limits of individual technologies and thereby providing substantial scope for further improvements in efficiency. The thesis explores photovoltaic devices using new physical processes that rely on thin layers and are capable of attaining the thermodynamic limit of photovoltaic technology. Silicon heterostructure is one of the candidate technologies in which thin films induce a …

Contributors
Ghosh, Kunal, Bowden, Stuart, Honsberg, Christiana, et al.
Created Date
2011

Microgrids are a subset of the modern power structure; using distributed generation (DG) to supply power to communities rather than vast regions. The reduced scale mitigates loss allowing the power produced to do more with better control, giving greater security, reliability, and design flexibility. This paper explores the performance and cost viability of a hybrid grid-tied microgrid that utilizes Photovoltaic (PV), batteries, and fuel cell (FC) technology. The concept proposes that each community home is equipped with more PV than is required for normal operation. As the homes are part of a microgrid, excess or unused energy from one home …

Contributors
Patterson, Maxx, Madakannan, Arunachalanadar, Macia, Narciso, et al.
Created Date
2013

Just for a moment! Imagine you live in Arizona without air-conditioning systems! Air-conditioning and refrigeration systems are one of the most crucial systems in anyone’s house and car these days. Energy resources are becoming more scarce and expensive. Most of the currently used refrigerants have brought an international concern about global warming. The search for more efficient cooling/refrigeration systems with environmental friendly refrigerants has become more and more important so as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure sustainable and affordable energy systems. The most widely used air-conditioning and refrigeration system, based on the vapor compression cycle, is driven by …

Contributors
ALELYANI, Sami Mohammed, Phelan, Patrick E, Wang, Liping, et al.
Created Date
2018

Alternative energy technologies must become more cost effective to achieve grid parity with fossil fuels. Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are an innovative third generation photovoltaic technology, which is demonstrating tremendous potential to become a revolutionary technology due to recent breakthroughs in cost of fabrication. The study here focused on quality improvement measures undertaken to improve fabrication of DSSCs and enhance process efficiency and effectiveness. Several quality improvement methods were implemented to optimize the seven step individual DSSC fabrication processes. Lean Manufacturing's 5S method successfully increased efficiency in all of the processes. Six Sigma's DMAIC methodology was used to identify …

Contributors
Fauss, Brian David, Munukutla, Lakshmi V., Polesky, Gerald, et al.
Created Date
2012

The project aims at utilization of hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) byproducts like biochar to grow microalgae. HTL is a promising method to convert wet algal biomasses into biofuels. The initial microalgae liquefaction at a temperature of 300 °C for 30 minute, converted 31.22 % of the Galdieria sulphuraria and 41.00 % of the Kirchneriella cornutum into biocrude. Upon changing the reactor from a 100 ml to a 250 ml reactor, the yield in biocrude increased to 31.48 % for G. sulphuraria and dropped to 38.05 % for K. cornutum. Further, energy recoveries based on calorific values of HTL products were seen …

Contributors
Mathew, Melvin, Deng, Shuguang, Lammers, Peter J, et al.
Created Date
2017

Increasing demand for reducing the stress on fossil fuels has motivated automotive industries to shift towards sustainable modes of transport through electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Most fuel efficient cars of year 2016 are hybrid vehicles as reported by environmental protection agency. Hybrid vehicles operate with internal combustion engine and electric motors powered by batteries, and can significantly improve fuel economy due to downsizing of the engine. Whereas, Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) have an additional feature compared to hybrid vehicles i.e. recharging batteries through external power outlets. Among hybrid powertrains, lithium-ion batteries have emerged as a major electrochemical storage source for …

Contributors
Badami, Pavan, Kannan, Arunachala Mada, Huang, Huei Ping, et al.
Created Date
2016

Potential induced degradation (PID) due to high system voltages is one of the major degradation mechanisms in photovoltaic (PV) modules, adversely affecting their performance due to the combined effects of the following factors: system voltage, superstrate/glass surface conductivity, encapsulant conductivity, silicon nitride anti-reflection coating property and interface property (glass/encapsulant; encapsulant/cell; encapsulant/backsheet). Previous studies carried out at ASU's Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (ASU-PRL) showed that only negative voltage bias (positive grounded systems) adversely affects the performance of commonly available crystalline silicon modules. In previous studies, the surface conductivity of the glass surface was obtained using either conductive carbon layer extending from the …

Contributors
Tatapudi, Sai Ravi Vasista, Tamizhmani, Govindasamy, Srinivasan, Devarajan, et al.
Created Date
2012

Photovoltaics (PV) is an important and rapidly growing area of research. With the advent of power system monitoring and communication technology collectively known as the "smart grid," an opportunity exists to apply signal processing techniques to monitoring and control of PV arrays. In this paper a monitoring system which provides real-time measurements of each PV module's voltage and current is considered. A fault detection algorithm formulated as a clustering problem and addressed using the robust minimum covariance determinant (MCD) estimator is described; its performance on simulated instances of arc and ground faults is evaluated. The algorithm is found to perform …

Contributors
Braun, Henry Carlton, Tepedelenlioglu, Cihan, Spanias, Andreas, et al.
Created Date
2012

Solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment has grown at unprecedented rates since the early 2000s. As the global PV market increases, so will the volume of decommissioned PV panels. Growing PV panel waste presents a new environmental challenge, but also unprecedented opportunities to create value and pursue new economic avenues. Currently, in the United States, there are no regulations for governing the recycling of solar panels and the recycling process varies by the manufacturer. To bring in PV specific recycling regulations, whether the PV panels are toxic to the landfills, is to be determined. Per existing EPA regulations, PV panels are categorized …

Contributors
Krishnamurthy, Raghav, Tamizhmani, Govindasamy, Srinivasan, Devarajan, et al.
Created Date
2017

Novel materials for Li-ion batteries is one of the principle thrust areas for current research in energy storage, more so than most, considering its widespread use in portable electronic gadgets and plug-in electric and hybrid cars. One of the major limiting factors in a Li-ion battery's energy density is the low specific capacities of the active materials in the electrodes. In the search for high-performance anode materials for Li-ion batteries, many alternatives to carbonaceous materials have been studied. Both cubic and amorphous silicon can reversibly alloy with lithium and have a theoretical capacity of 3500 mAh/g, making silicon a potential …

Contributors
Raghavan, Rahul, Chan, Candace K, Crozier, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2013

Learning from the anatomy of leaves, a new approach to bio-inspired passive evaporative cooling is presented that utilizes the temperature-responsive properties of PNIPAm hydrogels. Specifically, an experimental evaporation rate from the polymer, PNIPAm, is determined within an environmental chamber, which is programmed to simulate temperature and humidity conditions common in Phoenix, Arizona in the summer. This evaporation rate is then used to determine the theoretical heat transfer through a layer of PNIPAm that is attached to an exterior wall of a building within a ventilated cavity in Phoenix. The evaporation of water to the air gap from the polymer layer …

Contributors
Bradford, Katherine, Reddy, T A, Bryan, Harvey, et al.
Created Date
2018