Tag Archives: solar

Using Nanotechnology, not Water, to Clean Solar Panels

Although photovoltaic panels may appear bright and glossy, in desert environments, where they are most often installed, layers of dust and other particles can rapidly coat their surface. These coatings can affect the panels’ capability to take in sunshine and dramatically lower the conversion of the sun’s rays into energy, making it essential to regularly clean the panels with water. However typically, in areas like Nevada, water resources are scarce.

As a result, NEXUS scientists have actually turned their attention towards establishing innovations for waterless cleansing. NASA has actually currently been using such methods to clean panels in the lunar and Mars missions, but their developed methodologies prove too expensive for extensive public application. NEXUS scientist Biswajit Das of UNLV and his group are aiming to establish a water-free cleansing innovation that will be affordable for large-scale photovoltaic generation, where they want to nanotechnology, instead of water, to clean the panels.
” Our objective is to establish a waterless, or at least a less-water cleansing strategy to resolve the effect of dust on solar panels,” Das says. “When established, this method will substantially lower water use for the future PV generation.”

A Microscopic, and Dry, Service The Das group project relies on small particles, known as nanoparticles, to do the cleansing work for them. Their concept is to coat the photovoltaic panels with arrays of transparent but electrically performing nanoparticles. These particles supply an electrical field that can customize the electrical homes of the dust particles. When these dust particles are charged, an electrical field can be utilized to attract them and sweep them away from the panels without the use of water.

While the idea may appear easy, numerous aspects determine whether the innovation will eventually be viable. The first factor to consider is that the nanoparticles themselves be transparent.

” If we are coating the photovoltaic panel, we do not want to obstruct the light, so that is one of the very first things we have to resolve,” Das said. Already in the UNLV Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering researchers have a system in place to create any kind of nanoparticle at any density, however this innovation is presently tailored for the purposes of constructing gadgets and integrated circuits, not requiring the creation of large areas of nanoparticles.

” It’s really high cost, so this can not be useful for large-scale photovoltaic applications,” Das stated. At present, nevertheless, the researchers are using this methodology to see if their water-less cleaning principle will work. “And then we will proceed and develop an inexpensive technology for the new service.”

Using the tools already available, the researchers have manufactured nanoparticles of indium tin oxide and zinc oxide. Both these compounds are efficient conductors of electrical energy however are also transparent– an uncommon home. The group is also dealing with establishing a low-priced method, since the existing method utilized for job demonstration would be extremely pricey.

” They wouldn’t cover much of a surface area and the PV panels are, of course, substantial,” Das stated. “And we would need to create an innovation that is much, much cheaper.”

Tweaking the Process The scientists have actually carried out multiple experiments to fine-tune the process of creating the nanoparticles that will be best matched for this application. The scientists’ synthesis procedure produces charged nanoparticles. Using in-house devices, the researchers have demonstrated that the charged nanoparticles can be moved utilizing an electric field. “We were extremely urged to see that once the particles are charged, they can be effectively controlled utilizing electric field,” Das stated.

The Das group is presently working on developing a low-cost technique for producing the transparent nanoparticles. When the nanoparticles are produced, one of the essential goals of the job is to identify ways to charge the dust particles and the best ways to determine that charge.

” Unless we can determine it we can’t know if we are charging it properly,” Das stated.

Once the researchers have actually refined this procedure they plan to develop a big area of nanoparticles, which will be specifically charged. Dust particles would then build up on this location and be charged by the nanoparticles.

” Our hope is that the focused electrical field might in fact charge the dust particles adequately so that we can move them,” Das said.The scientists continue to work on the numerous challenging elements of the task: developing the nanoparticles, charging and determining the dust particles, and moving the dust with an electric field.

” We are really encouraged by the accomplishments we have made so far, and confident that will have the ability to establish a low cost technology for charging and electrically manipulating dust particles,” Das stated. “We believe that this will be a big step to sustainable generation of solar power.”

UNLV Includes 2nd Location Engineering Win to Solar Decathlon Tally; Finishes Eighth Overall

UNLV’s Team Las Vegas won second place in the United States Department of Energy Solar Decathlon’s Engineering contest today for their Sinatra Living house, one of six juried contests happening during the 10-day competition. Earlier in the week, the team took top place in the Innovation contest and second location in the Architecture contest. Overall, UNLV put 8th out of an overall of 11 national and worldwide groups who competed.

The Solar Decathlon competitors challenges collegiate teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses that integrate market potential and design excellence with wise energy production and maximum efficiency. Groups begin the planning process two years ahead of time, build and check their styles in their own cities, and after that transportation and restore them at the competition website. This year the competition was kept in Denver, and included the first snow ever experienced during a Solar Decathlon Competition– earning this competition the nickname of Snowlar Decathalon.

Initially, 17 teams were chosen to compete in the biennial competitors. Due to the intense nature of the competitors and the time and resources needed, 6 teams dropped out prior to the public competitors began.

“The entire UNLV community is so happy with the devotion, determination, and successes of Group Las Vegas— they embody whatever our university, and our city, represent,” stated UNLV president Len Jessup. “This was really a collective effort and a life time experience that nobody involved will ever forget.”

Over the course of 24 months, more than 60 UNLV trainees from a variety of academic backgrounds including architecture, engineering, health sciences and hospitality, developed, planned and developed the 990-square-foot home. Initially assembled on the Paradise campus of UNLV, the house was then transported by truck to the competitors site in Colorado.

More than 100 individuals and companies made Sinatra Living possible consisting of money fans, in-kind material donors and the job sponsors, Switch and NV Energy Foundation.

In addition to their first and second location wins in Development, Engineering and Architecture, Group Las Vegas took sixth in Market Potential, 5th in Communications, and ninth in Water. Non-juried, determined contests consisted of Health and Comfort, Appliances, Home Life and Energy.

The Swiss Group, that included students and faculty from 4 various universities, took first place in general in the competitors with their house, NeighborHub.

For additional information on the 2017 Solar Decathlon Competitors go to the Website at www.solardecathlon.gov.

UNLV’s Solar Decathlon Group Wins First Place in Innovation Contest, Second Place in Architecture

UNLV’s Team Las Vegas has taken top prizes in two essential contests at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 competition with their Sinatra Living house design. In Development, the student team got 98 from 100 points, ranking first place and beating the second-place group by 5 points. In Architecture, they connected with Washington University in St. Louis for second location with a total of 94 points.

Development and Architecture are two of six juried contests consisted of in the 10-event competitors which runs through October 15, and is occurring in Denver. The additional four contests– Health and Comfort, Appliances, House Life and Energy– are determined contests with final results being calculated on a daily basis and into each team’s final score.

4 of the 10 contest awards have actually been announced so far. The grand reward award winner will be announced Saturday morning. Currently, Team Las Vegas remains in 4th location overall.

For the Innovation contest, new for the competition this year, teams were judged on aspects such as how they included research to pick style solutions, how well the group integrated passive strategies and materials into their design to make the most of sustainability, and the extent to which their design utilized ingenious approaches to please an existing market requirement. Complete criteria for the contest can be discovered at https://www.solardecathlon.gov/2017/competition-contests-innovation.html.”We set out to build a home that was ingenious, yet simple, a

house appropriate to our Las Vegas community both in regards to environment and group,”stated Nasko Balaktchiev, student task supervisor.”The team certainly thought that we performed our principle well, and we’re elated and proud that the judges concurred.”For the Architecture contest, judges examined teams on the principle and style of their house, and how well their

houses integrated solar and energy performance innovations into that style. Complete criteria for the contest can be discovered at: https://www.solardecathlon.gov/2017/competition-contests-architecture.html In addition to a house that mixes design quality with ideal energy efficiency, Sinatra Living was created to fulfill a growing social requirement– aging-in-place. The house combines ease of access and interior convenience with smart home and health-monitoring technologies to assist older adults move safely in their environment, interact with care providers and social services, and ultimately remain in their homes longer. The general public can still reveal support for Group Las Vegas by voting in the Solar Decathlon’s Individuals’s Choice Award. Voting takes place on Facebook at https://poll.fbapp.io/pca.

Online votes are being accepted through Saturday, October 14, 2017. Outcomes will be relayed on Facebook on October 15. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a college competition comprised of 10 contests that challengetrainee teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered homes. Competing students get hands-on experience and distinct training while consumers experience the current innovations and materials in ingenious energy technologies, wise house solutions, water conservation and sustainable structures. Sinatra Living’s multi-disciplinary team consists of faculty and students from the School of Architecture, the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, the School of Allied Health Sciences, and the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. The job is sponsored

by Change and NV Energy Structure. For additional information on the job, follow the group on Facebook at Team Las Vegas Solar Decathlon 2017 (@UNLVSD17 ), on Twitter @UNLVSD17, and on Instagram @UNLVSD17, or visit the Website at www.unlvsd.com.

Tariff case progressing, regardless of solar market objections

Trade case opponents caution that a solar cell tariff would raise costs


Organisation Wire/ AP SolarWorld Americas Inc. provided 14.2 megawatts DC of high-performance solar panels for a project near Fernley. A trade commission is expected to decide next week whether to proceed with a case that might cause tariffs on solar cells.

Friday, Sept. 15, 2017|2 a.m.

. A trade commission is expected to decide next week whether to continue with a case that could cause tariffs on solar batteries.

The tariffs would make solar panels more pricey and hurt the market, states Solar Energy Industries Association CEO Abigail Ross Hopper, who is leading the solar market in the event. The U.S. International Trade Commission will vote Sept. 22 on whether business Suniva and SolarWorld were injured by imports of solar batteries, which are put together to create photovoltaic panels.

If commissioners find in the two companies’ favor, Hopper says a remedy recommendation will be made prior to President Donald Trump makes the final decision. The requested tariffs on these imported cells would double the price of photovoltaic panels, halve the demand and cause 88,000 people to lose their tasks nationwide, Hopper said.

About 2,000 tasks in Nevada alone might be lost as a result of the tariffs, Hopper stated. The state’s solar market has been ramping up since the passage of legislation to bring back credits for power customers whose photovoltaic panels send out excess energy to the grid.

“The Nevada solar industry has actually had a tumultuous two years and lastly has some certainty. The future looks brilliant for solar here in this terrific state,” Hopper said. “This, without a doubt, creates great deals of uncertainty about the future of that market. All the hard work that the Legislature just did and the governor did and the commission did to produce a sustainable and clear course for domestic solar could be jeopardized if these tariffs are put in location.”

The case was heard Aug. 15, with both sides presenting testimony. Juergen Stein, CEO of SolarWorld Americas, said the company needs the commission’s aid to save U.S. solar manufacturing.

“At a time when need for our product is booming, there is exactly one presently active producer of both solar batteries and modules left in the United States– SolarWorld,” Stein affirmed in August. “We are one provider with a capacity of 2 to 3 percent of U.S. need, as well as we are operating well below capacity. We have actually needed to lay off numerous employees because mid last year, including 360 employees just last month.”

Global overcapacity makes the U.S. market the “first and last resort,” inning accordance with Stein. Paired with increased U.S. imports, these 2 aspects triggered American solar rates to buckle.

“Nations that had delivered almost no items to the United States in the past ended up being major suppliers practically overnight,” Stein said in his ready testament. “As an outcome, the domestic industry, in spite of modest boosts in production, did not gain from growing U.S. demand and saw its market share fall sharply.

The solar market utilized 260,000 people in 2015, with solar representing one from every 50 brand-new tasks, Hopper stated.

“We are worried that any tariff would be hazardous to the growth of the market,” stated Hopper, whose association represents more than 1,000 solar companies. “We believe it is incumbent upon us to prove why it’s a much better service to enable this market to continue to grow.”

The commission’s recommendation will go to Trump on Nov. 13. He would then have 2 months, up until early 2018, to make a choice.

Start Spreading out the News: '' Sinatra ' Solar Home Taking Shape

This solar house is starting to appear like a solar house.

With a date in Denver on Oct. 5-15, the UNLV Solar Decathlon group’s Sinatra Living task has the bones in location for a trendy home worthy of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself. Ol’ Sol Eyes, if you will.

Now comes the time to give it its guts, heart and brains.

“We’re finishing up our sheeting,” task supervisor Adam Betemedhin stated. “The next stage, we’re going to be doing our pipes rough-in, electrical rough-in. After we get that done and checked we’ll do insulation, drywall and a few of our finishes. Then we’ll go on to incorporate some of our automation devices. We’re looking really good.”

Sponsored by the United States Department of Energy, Solar Decathlon pits 13 university groups to complete across 10 classifications from energy performance to architecture, engineering, house life and more. UNLV took initially among American universities in 2013 with its DesertSol home, now on screen at the Las Vegas Spring Preserve.

Just to get to the competition, schools need to submit a detailed proposal to be evaluated by a panel of engineers and researchers. Propositions are evaluated on the style of the home, a group’s ability raise the money for it, and their capacity for integrating curricula into the job.

The cross-disciplinary group features 25 trainees majoring in engineering, hotel administration, architecture, and allied health sciences.

One of the prime objectives for Sinatra Living is design with aging in place in mind– the concept that this is a home that is versatile and ideal to remain living in through one’s golden years.

The home is designed to abide by the American with Disabilities Act from the start with touches like adjustable countertops that can accommodate both standing and wheelchair heights, doors that are wheelchair width. As medical equipment ends up being critical to later life, Sinatra Living will prioritize its battery backup power for critical devices in cases of power interruption.

Canceling the healthy, stress-free living and energy efficiency of the house has actually presented design difficulties. Getting sufficient daylight, for instance, can be a battle for older individuals– Alzheimer’s patients’ symptoms can magnify as light fades– but big windows lower energy effectiveness. To fulfill both needs, Sinatra Living has generous overhangs over big windows to allow sunlight into the 990-square-foot home while controling temperature level.

The Solar Decathlon team likewise is zeroing in on automation and clever living to a degree that wasn’t available to the 2013 squad.

Amazon has partnered with the team to allow access to Amazon Web Services and their engineers to place sensors throughout your home and track every last grain of information that gets produced to help improve those automation and integration efforts in everything from lighting to heating and cooling to power management.

“We’re entering into a time where whatever is linked in some way or another. The method we’re going about designing this house and monitoring, and tracking the process of this home really shows an advance in homebuilding style,” Betemedhin said.

Amazon isn’t really the only big-name tech business to aid. Tesla contributed a Powerwall system, which is a battery to store energy from the house’s photovoltaic solar panels. The business is also supplying a Design S to assist fulfill the Solar Decathlon’s obstacle of keeping an electrical lorry charged over the five-day event.

Sinatra Living is currently being put together on UNLV’s Paradise Campus. You can get a peek at the house at the send-off event Sept. 7, which will feature representatives from Tesla, Switch, the NV Energy Structure, and other community sponsors of the project.

Then, starting the week of Sept. 11, the group will take apart the entire thing and bring your house to Denver for the competition, re-assembling it near the University of Colorado. Already, they’ll have the capability to fine-tune all the home’s procedures, down to the degree, volt, and drop of water, with all the information required to back up those choices.

“It will be cool see the look on my teammates faces when they see how well this building is performing compared to a typical house built by designers,” Betemedhin said.

Where to watch the solar eclipse in Southern Nevada

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180″/ > LAS VEGAS (FOX5 )- Las Vegas will experience a partial solar eclipse on Monday from 9:09 a.m. up until 11:52 a.m. It will mark the very first time in 99 years that a solar eclipse will cross the whole nation.

Here are a few of the locations around Southern Nevada using a place to enjoy the eclipse:

College of Southern Nevada’s Planetarium

The viewing will last from 9 a.m. up until twelve noon at the North Las Vegas campus on 3200 East Cheyenne Opportunity, near Pecos Road. Professional astronomers will be at the event, which will include telescopes, academic display screens, live streams of the eclipse and more. Free eclipse viewing glasses will be offered at the event.

Lake Mead National Leisure Location

The park is hosting a totally free seeing party at the visitor center from 9 a.m. up until midday. Attendees can view the eclipse with rangers utilizing a solar telescope and solar glasses.

Silverton Gambling establishment

The Silverton Gambling establishment stated it is inviting visitors to view the solar eclipse from the 5th flooring of the parking lot. The very first 1000 visitors to go to the Player’s Club at the casino will get a free set of eclipse glasses. Considering that the eclipse will end at about lunchtime, the gambling establishment is also offering a 70 percent discount off at the Seasons Buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Red Rock Canyon

The Bureau of Land Management is hosting a seeing celebration at the visitor center from 8:30 a.m. till noon. There will be eclipse info and activities for participants. Eclipse talks will be held at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m.

Lyft Eclipse promotion

Lyft is providing those visiting a location to watch the solar eclipse a discount rate. The business is providing $5 off of 2 trips. Users will need to go into the code “LVECLIPSE” to benefit from the promo.

Do you have an eclipse seeing celebration to contribute to the list? Send us an email to 5newsdesk@fox5vegas.com!.?.!. FOX5 will likewise air a special on the Solar Eclipse on Monday from 10:20 a.m. up until 10:32 a.m. Join meteorologist Sam Argier and Ted Pretty in addition to Mike Doria, Adam Herbets and Cherney Amhara as they take you inside watch celebrations for the eclipse. Sign up with the enjoyable by sharing your images and pictures

with FOX5 on social networks and use #FOX 5SolarEclipse. Copyright 2017 KVVU( KVVU Broadcasting Corporation).

All rights reserved.

'' Dark years of solar' ' behind us? Sandoval signs costs to resurrect solar industry


File photo/ Associated Press Installers from California Green Design set up solar electrical panels on the roofing system of a house in Glendale, Calif. Nevada is resetting energy credits that officials say will make solar panels a more economical option for property owners and make the state a leader in tidy energy production.

Solar Side Effects

Solar power proves a perfect energy source as utilizing the sun’s rays to produce electrical power does not produce greenhouse gases or pollutants. But no type of energy production is best and a crucial part of taking full advantage of the benefits of this tidy energy source lies in recognizing its possible negative effects.

” There exists a real need to much better understand the environmental consequences of these energy scale solar centers,” states engineering teacher Dale Devitt.” As it stands, documents of the impacts of massive solar operations on the surrounding desert plant community is largely nonexistent.”

Devitt and college student Lorenzo Apodaca are investigating the effect of large-scale solar development on the surrounding environment and plants. It belongs to the Solar Nexus Task analyzing the links between solar energy generation and Nevada’s restricted water resources.

” In particular we have an interest in how changes in the balance between incoming energy from the Sun and outbound heat from the Earth might have shifted and how that may impact total development and performance of the plants,” Devitt states.

Windier and Warmer. To scout out the impacts of the solar facility on

the regional environment, the team based their examinations around the Copper Mountain 2 solar facility in Eldorado Valley, Nevada where nearly 1.8 square kilometers of photovoltaic panels generate enough energy to power about 50,000 homes. The researchers installed one 10-meter high meteorological tower just within the

southern boundaries of the center, a 2nd tower 100 meters outside the center on the north side, and a 3rd tower 2.3 kilometers north once again. Each tower records the atmospheric conditions such as the temperature level, relative humidity, wind speed, and radiation along with soil conditions such as the soil moisture and soil temperature level. The scientists also installed a grid network of mini towers, which houses air temperature level sensing units located at heights of 10 centimeters, 1 meter, 2 meters and 3 meters above ground level.” We are using a series of tiny towers to keep track of localized temperature level changes in the adjacent natural habitat, as localized climate within the facility might be modifying growing conditions in the neighboring desert plant neighborhood,” Devitt says.< img class=" caption "alt="" title=" Meteorological tower utilized to determine microclimate changes due to solar centers.(Courtesy of Dale Devitt )”/ > When the researchers evaluated the wind speed, which generally went from south to north over the panels (throughout the non-winter months), they found it corresponded over the south tower and the tower at 2.3 kilometers to the north. However over the north tower simply beyond the center, large and irregular distinctions occurred.

” So the large scale center is causing this air turbulence at this lower elevation,” Devitt states. “And, naturally, turbulence is the main owning force for moving water vapor off the leaves.” By eliminating water off the leaves the turbulence impacts the plant’s transpiration-the motion of water through the plant-creating water tension.

The scientists also found that 2.3 kilometers downslope from the facility the air temperature level at 2 meters height was higher than that at one meter. As the one meter height reflects the canopy height of the creosote plants, this temperature distinction shows that evapotranspiration cools the air straight above the plants. But, near the center, the scientists saw the reverse impact: the air was really warmer at one meter than at two meters.

The group thinks that heat from the center is being moved into the plant neighborhood by horizontal movement. Observing their outcomes they noted that on one particular day and time, the temperature level could be as much as 5 degrees Celsius warmer 100 meters away from the facility at one-meter height than it would be much further away.

” The point is that this spatial pattern shifts constantly: It shifts based upon the time of day, it shifts based on wind instructions and shifts based upon the day of the year,” Devitt says. “So in the future we are going to need to aim to get a manage on this, to see how the heat is moving and how it is impacting the plants.”

Stemming the Flow.

A second mission of the group’s task was to investigate the impacts of the center on the surface hydrology, or the way that the water flows, in the surrounding environment.

” The placement of (Copper Mountain 2) represents a major challenge to developed surface water flow,” Devitt states. Although there is just a mild slope in the region surrounding the center, it is still enough to create linked washes that transport water in a random way, Devitt says. “However when you have a large-scale disturbance you basically truncate the surface area hydrology and there is no longer this consistent circulation.”

To figure out the possible water flow changes and the impact on the plant neighborhood, the group installed gain access to tubes into the ground to determine the changes in soil water in storage. They also evaluated the health of the plants along ridges and cleans over a 1,000-meter gradient.

The scientists discovered that in the summertime, plants near the center revealed a decrease in water capacity (internal plant water status) in contrast to those well away from the center. In the winter season, when the ecological tensions were low, the distinctions in between the plants’ water prospective closer to and farther away from the center disappeared.

” So it is this higher temperature and minimized volume of water being built up through the modification of the surface hydrology that causes tension on the plants near the facility,” Devitt states.

The modifications in water capacity likewise impact the plants’ chlorophyll status, an indication of tension, closer to the center. “We were seeing a shift in weather conditions and a decoupling of surface area hydrology, which indicates the plants closer to the large-scale disturbance are under greater tension,” Devitt says.

To minimize the effect of solar advancement on desert communities, facilities need to be established that maintain surface area cleans that permit water to stream down slope to plant neighborhoods, Devitt says. “Our research is revealing that these facilities do have an ecological footprint and this information can be used to assist style of solar facilities to help reduce these effects,” he states.