Solar Energy in Cold Climates

Solar Energy in Cold Climates

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Janet Callahan: And so you've been working in industry for a while, or what you've been doing. Ayush Chutani: Yeah. So I did Ayush Chutani: some research as well as look out for jobs. But then Covid happened. Ayush Chutani: and they had to go back Ayush Chutani: to India during Covid because of the work, we, the situations and hiding fees and everything. But then in India I work for the the industry. And then. Ayush Chutani: while working. I got the advertisement, and then I applied, and somehow I ended up here.

Janet Callahan: Let me see your equation underneath Michigan Tech. What does it say? Janet Callahan: So this is engine having Janet Callahan: and you what t-shirt are you wearing? So Janet Callahan: he'll be. Shelbie Davis: Yeah, I have a Michigan text. Ana Dyreson: I know it. I know, Anna, You've got the flag in the background. I've got my flag. That's true. We all logo it up in some way, you know. That's good. That's good. Shelbie Davis: So i'd see in the comments that someone suggested in mushrooms wax. Dan.

Shelbie Davis: So i'm going to write it down. There you go. Shelbie Davis: Well, I was thinking there's gotta be a product. I was thinking you might just try Wd. 40, but then the dog will lick it off, or something that will happen if you use Wd. 40. But that sounds so much better.

Janet Callahan: There's got to be a product for this right? Shelbie Davis: Yeah, you know, we don't need it often here, but Shelbie Davis: I do have a dog that's basically a cotton ball. So Janet Callahan: oh, those those Janet Callahan: my my daughter have I call it a snicker, Doodle, that I know that's Janet Callahan: in the bed, you know, like you know, it was. It was just leaping and jumping, and you know, and then it would escape, and then you'd have this escaped snicker noodle, and you had to trap it. You had to like Janet Callahan: pretend that You're going somewhere in a car in order to get it in the car, and then you had it trapped. I mean it was. It was just honestly.

Shelbie Davis: Was it a big, bigger dog, or like a smaller? It was a big one. Yeah, it was like Shelbie Davis: It's surprising how big the normal size ones are. I have a family member that has the normal size, and they're big, and they don't know they're big. It's just like all over the place. Isn't that funny how dogs are like that. Ana Dyreson: I just don't know Shelbie Davis: they're not. Yeah, they're knocking stuff over.

Janet Callahan: So I I I don't know if I told you my husband is doing a cross country bike ride, so he's he's do it like he's on a bicycle. When I say bike rid, he's on a bicycle with pennies and camping, and Janet Callahan: been attacked by several dogs, but and he has had to deploy his pepper spray, so he his blog about some like Janet Callahan: Pit Bull mix. That's not going to be tasting pepper for the next week or 2, because you had to hit it in the face, and you know, so he's now right, but running with one glove on him, one glove off so he can quickly. It's scary. I mean. Most dogs are great, but Janet Callahan: it's actually. Janet Callahan: I've only had one dog come after me, but and that's fine. You can get off your bike, and you you use your bike as a shield, you know. And finally the owner comes out if you're lucky. But

Janet Callahan: if you have 2 dogs that that just doesn't work anymore, because one to go around and bite your ankles, you know. Ana Dyreson: So you must be on Southern us right now, or Janet Callahan: he's in Louisiana. He's Janet Callahan: he's got a party, I think, for for for Janet Callahan: yeah.

Janet Callahan: All right. Let me let me start Janet Callahan: sharing my screen. This is always a process for me. Janet Callahan: I am so excited about this evening. I have been wanting to hear about your work for a long time. Ana Dyreson: hey? Janet Callahan: All right. Can you see my screen?

Ana Dyreson: Yes, we see all all the all kinds of stuff there. Janet Callahan: Draft Senate policy. All right. So let me now go to Janet Callahan: first slide. Janet Callahan: All right. Well, we are. Janet Callahan: We are ready for an on time. Start. Welcome to. I've lost track of what episode we are, but we are in the middle of season 7 0f husky bytes, which is a Michigan tech. You know, Technological University free Zoom Webinar that we later then post Janet Callahan: to make available to you, Youtube. These are

Janet Callahan: We're always trying to learn something new, and we hope you learn something new this evening. My name is Janet Callahan. My role at Michigan tech is that I am the Dean of the College of Engineering, and I just want to welcome everybody here. Janet Callahan: So this is the spring menu. As I said, it's season 7. So we're about midway through or exactly midway through. Possibly Janet Callahan: we're gonna be learning about solar energy and cold climates. Janet Callahan: We will meet one more time on February 20, seventh. and then so echo whenever she hears my voice. She comes and says, Hi! So she gets to be on there she is. Yeah, that's that's Janet Callahan: echo that he's down at my feet. so we'll be talking about money matters. This will be a college of business focus talk, and then we will have spring break in the and we will actually not meet. And then we have 4 more meetings in a row.

Janet Callahan: just a couple of updates. First of all, it's snowing here. It's not snowing heavily, but it's it's snowing, and we do expect some accumulation on Thursday, so i'll have to let you know next week how that happened we're at 167 and 3 quarters of an inch to date, which is not very much. If you ask my dogs. Janet Callahan: they love the snow. I want to thank everybody who gave, and if you didn't give it's never too late to give over 1.1,289,140 top $2 was given across about 1,240, some odd gifts, and and and I know some gifts came in early, and they're probably not included in the total, because they're Janet Callahan: adding it all together. So I just wanted to thank everybody. and I also wanted to point out the website and Sue, if you can draft that in the chat Janet Callahan: on that URL. So there's this really fascinating Janet Callahan: webcam site where you can see the broomball cans the black rink, and like. I don't know if you know about this, but I didn't know about this, and then you can see the campus aerial. You can see these are all live. This is Husky plaza.

Janet Callahan: This is a mid campus Walker lawn. So this you, if you're ever interested in not seeing what it's, what looks like here on campus, you can. You can even monitor the construction of our each some complex which which should be open around by open by this time next year. So I just I wanted you guys to know about that. If you didn't already. Janet Callahan: and Janet Callahan: let's see I wanted to shout out about the up next. I I I've Dean Johnson is going to be the featured speaker with students as the co-host and they're going to be talking about the applied portfolio management program Janet Callahan: wherein they invest real money and are doing pretty well relative to their portfolio. And so I hope you'll join us. Janet Callahan: And finally, thank you, everybody. I want to remind you. If you want to ask questions, what you want to do is type them in the Q. A. And then we will read them off later on. The chat does not work. We can chat at you, but you cannot chat back. Sorry for that. So

Janet Callahan: with that i'm going to. Are you still seeing slides from me, you guys. Yes. Janet Callahan: all right. I'm gonna attempt to stop sharing. Janet Callahan: Not sure how to do that anymore. Janet Callahan: I've lost my field of view.

Ana Dyreson: I don't know. Janet Callahan: Did I stop sharing You did so this evening? Janet Callahan: We have the great pleasure of having Anna, Dr. Anna D. Dyerson, who is a faculty member in mechanical engineering mechanics. This is her third year as a faculty member here Janet Callahan: on that earned her bachelor of science in engineering mechanics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and her Ph. D. There as well, and in between she earned a masters at Arizona State University out West Janet Callahan: Anna was raised in Wisconsin, in Portage, Wisconsin, which is in South Central on a farm with 3 sisters. So I have that in common with you, and she loves to bike camp and run, and I'm gonna just keep it brief and hopefully. You'll say a little bit more about yourself. Janet Callahan: S0 0n, and leads the Great Lakes energy group which is her research group here at Michigan Tech. And we're gonna be learning about impacts of snow on future high solar shared power systems

And so Janet Callahan: take it from here, Anna. Ana Dyreson: Great thanks, Janet. Quick question back to you. One of my sisters is an engineer, too, so we're 2 for 4. What about you and your sisters. Janet Callahan: 0 0ne for 4. I got it Ana Dyreson: great. Well, i'm excited to to talk about Solar Pv. And northern climates. I think Janet gave a more than sufficient introduction about me, but really have focused my work in Michigan Tech on

Ana Dyreson: energy transitions and getting more specific about the Great Lakes region because of my interest in that, because I grew up in Portage, which is indeed in the Great Lakes basin. So it is in the waters of the Great Lakes, and I've always been drawn to this region. Ana Dyreson: I'm really excited today to work with. I use and Shelby. It's always fun to highlight student work, and they're they're part of my larger team I use is a returning students, and he did his masters at Michigan Tech. Ana Dyreson: and then spent some time looking at remote and hybrid, renewable power systems so kind of some cool background there before he came back for his Phd. Ana Dyreson: And Shelby is an online Phd. Student with me, who also spends Ana Dyreson: some time in the industry at some electric power systems. Some electric call utilities on the Western us, so both of them bring interesting perspective, and i'm happy to give them Ana Dyreson: the spotlight today to share their research Janet Callahan: as well as in civil engineering at here at Michigan Tech. So if we have anybody out there who would like to earn a Ph. D. You know. feel free to send an email to engineering at Mtu, and we we're happy to share more with you about how to do that.

Ana Dyreson: Very good. So sort of the way we organize the talk today, i'll begin with an introduction and kind of a quick primer on solar, so that we all have some shared background, and then i'll hand it over to. I used to talk about his work on optimizing single access tracking systems. Ana Dyreson: and to Shelby for her work on impact of snow shading on the grid overall and a few words at the end for me, I where research is headed from here Ana Dyreson: as by way of introduction, sort of where this comes from. As I, As I said, I focus my research more and more on the Great Lakes region, and in general we'll look at the impacts of weather and climate change on future power systems. So as you think about energy systems trans transitioning Ana Dyreson: at the same time, the weather and climate are changing. There are these 2 concurrent changes that really intersect, and you can imagine how extreme temperatures changes in extreme weather and precipitation affect the generation. Transmission and use of electricity and all that's rapidly changing. S0 0ur goal is to focus on the Great Lakes region, because I argue that every region has its own characteristics. Ana Dyreson: If we don't explore those in each unique region we won't have the right solutions. We won't understand the drivers in each region. So what does that mean in the Great Lakes? Things like affect climate, right, like like effect snow, and just how the lakes affect our climate overall Ana Dyreson: heating services being very important in Northern climates. What is electrification mean for electrifying natural gas, for example, furnaces to electric heat pumps. Snow shading on Solar Pv. Is our focus today, but I've also got an undergraduate student looking at Win potential on the great Lakes themselves. Ana Dyreson: And then some themes in my research are around post-industrial sustainable redevelopment so interest kind of in that space, weather and climate and climate change, and how power systems change leads us to the core of Today's talk on snow shading on solar. Pv. In general.

Ana Dyreson: As I said, I want to make sure we have some shared background for solar. My research through my master's degree, and Phd. Has been an Ana Dyreson: and multiple technologies. Solar Pv. Is on the left. Solar Pv. Has an efficiency of somewhere at 15 t0 20, and they're always pushing that higher. This is kind of probably what most folks are most familiar with. But I just want to give you a a range of different technologies To think about. So Ana Dyreson: Pv. Right requires batteries at least a large scale, great integration. We need batteries, and we only we produce electricity, which is a Ana Dyreson: very useful output. But it is electricity versus a flat plate collector which is shown in the middle, a technology that was mature more than Ana Dyreson: a couple of decades ago.

Ana Dyreson: But we are using that to collect solar radiation, some backing on the bottom and convective panels on the top t0 0ptimize the heat, transfer and collect as much radiation with the fewest losses possible, gives you an efficiency of around 80. But what you produce is heated water right? So you're getting heat out of those which is useful in some applications, while not others Ana Dyreson: concentrating solar on the right is where I focus my Phd. And that takes either mirrors or parabolic troughs that are shown here to collect sunlight on a point, or in this case a line, and you generate thermal energy through that concentration of solar irradiation. But then you use a power cycle to convert it into electricity. Ana Dyreson: The efficiencies on those are moving up as they generate higher and higher materials that can withstand higher temperatures. But Still, you're kind of in the 25% efficiency range. So they're just very different ways of collecting solar the abundant solar radiation that we have.

Ana Dyreson: and we will focus on solar pv. And I said. As I said, I think most folks are probably most familiar with that, but I wanted us to have that shared understanding Ana Dyreson: so kind of further in that then within Solar, Pd. You may be most familiar with residential scale. Pv. Which is shown on the left, but there's sort of a whole skier range and scale of technologies from residential Ana Dyreson: on the smallest utility scale. Solar at the largest residential scale. Solar is also sometimes called distributed Pv. Because you have these small distributed systems and neighborhoods and communities that aren't Ana Dyreson: usually, or at least I should say, historically, controlled by a central location versus on the right. You can imagine a utility scale solar farm like this, which is of the scale of like a coal power plant, or maybe even the larger ones, the scale of a nuclear power plant. Ana Dyreson: and so those can be controlled from a central place. Right and maintenance can be standardized, and like anything, the the cost per unit decreases with scale right? And then in the middle, you have commercial systems that you might see on your home or office. This is actually a picture of the Sustainability Demonstration House Pv. System on campus here at Michigan Tech.

Ana Dyreson: So kind of those systems that are a little bigger than you would need for one home, but not so big that they're really a utility scale system. Ana Dyreson: And we wanted to let you kind of give you that framing that we're focusing on utility scale systems, though actually, I mean, I think the findings that work certainly apply to both. But as we think about our research, it's sort of on that larger scale. Ana Dyreson: Further on that I guess within utility scale systems. The photo I'm. Showing you on the right is fixed tilt system. So the general rule is that if you locate a system, you fix the system at the tilt angle equal to its latitude, you're going to get the optimal, optimal, optable amount Ana Dyreson: of solar input throughout the year. That's the way that they were historically done. It's the cheapest and simplest way to do it. But Ana Dyreson: there are also systems that track on one or 2 axes to follow the sun and collect more energy throughout the day. But they become more expensive, and there's more moving parts, right?

Ana Dyreson: S0 0ur work is on usually scale, and further on single access tracking I you to some really cool videos. So i'll let him kind of fully describe that more. But single access tracking systems essentially Ana Dyreson: track the sun for east to west throughout the day. So we like to take breaks and get some interaction. The first poll question is shown on the screen. Ana Dyreson: Think about what percentage of all solar capacity in the Us. Is utility scale solar. I just introduce you to distributed commercial and utility scale. So do you think that is a 25% b between 25 and 50%, c. 50 t0 75% or more than 75%. Janet Callahan: Remember, I warned you. Our alumni are pretty pretty, darn.

Ana Dyreson: she said. It would be hard to trick anyone, but let's see what Ana Dyreson: 111 responses in from there. Janet Callahan: Well, we have. We have a 163 attendees. So and that's not counting households, because lots of people are joining us with a whole. Ana Dyreson: Well, people are thinking a less than 25.

Ana Dyreson: S0 0f the solar capacity in the us that's been built throughout time. You know everything from decades ago until now. The answer is, 65 0f that is utility scale. So even though we know like our day, to day, experience might be more with residential scale utility scale, because it's built at such Ana Dyreson: large scale. Right? It's actually 65 0f the the capacity we have, and they're only expecting that to grow. Ana Dyreson: while residential scale solar will grow. and commercials grow, and utility scale. So we're we. We expect that utility scale solar will will continue to be the dominant. Janet Callahan: No, it's good, it's good. I am. So that's interesting. S0 0f the solar that that has been installed

Ana Dyreson: 65 0f it is utility scale. Got it? Yup, Yup! And we'll do some more later that get into kind of a good penetration to folks are thinking about that. So Ana Dyreson: very good. I'll close that out and link to. So I want to talk about Ana Dyreson: our Why, we're focusing on single access trackers and then talk about our research site before hand it to you to get into his work. So single access trackers are, even though they are mechanically Ana Dyreson: more complex. They d0 0f course, improve the output of the system by tracking the sun throughout the day, and they now have taken over them, are not not completely, but they've nearly taken over the market in the Us. And there's an image there from our recent market report on that from a Department of Energy Lab. Ana Dyreson: And so we think you know if you're thinking about Northern climates, and what matters near the Great Lakes, you would think that single access trackers should have some benefits right because snow build up on panels. But then, as they move throughout the day, they should drop that snow. But that's actually not been really shown. We really don't know how much

Ana Dyreson: the how well they drop snow, what times of day, what types of events! And that's why our research has become more focused on that. And I want to shout out to the technologies, who is an early partner of mine and research, and Ana Dyreson: recognize and agreed with the importance of this issue and partner to provide a 33 Kw. Single access tracking system on campus here, which is used for a couple of different research projects, but our work primarily for a uses project. And so that, just, you know, shows this is currently industry relevant, and and we're really happy to have a partner like that. Ana Dyreson: Where do we do this kind of work on Michigan text campus. It's there is a new site north of campus at Aps labs. If any one is familiar with the Advanced Power Systems Research Center up there. It's near the airport. Ana Dyreson: and we have a mitc, as we call it, the Michigan Solar Regional Test Center, which is one of 5 throughout the Us. So the map on the bottom right shows the 5 locations of the regional test centers which are managed by San Diego national labs, and the idea of those is, they all have the world class, meteorological and irradiance, instrumentation, and they

Ana Dyreson: industry can come and use those to test their system in different claimants, and then cross. Compare between different sites if they choose to. And it's also available folks like me to develop research projects. So that site is a really great resource that we have, and it's operated by the advanced the Aps Labs Ana Dyreson: folks, and it can continue to be expanded. So that's kind of an opportunity for more research. I guess the the image on the top right isn't really needed for this crowd. When I usually talk about this, I point out. You know. Why do we have the test center here? You all know that we have Ana Dyreson: lots of and predictable snowfall, but that was attractive to the do as they selected a location for this test center, because they wanted to be able to compare different climates, and we all know that energy transition transitions are happening across the country. S0 0ur site is here for a reason, and we're excited to Ana Dyreson: continue testing new technologies and how they perform in cold and snowy conditions here.

Janet Callahan: And so if you land at the Houghton airport and you're driving out before you hit the end of that before you hit the main road. The the Aps is about halfway down on your left, and you'll see those the solar array from the road from the road. Hmm. Janet Callahan: and it's it's new. It's been there only it was installed during the pandemic.

Ana Dyreson: Very good. So with that background I think i'll hand it to. I use so that he can talk in more detail about his research. Ayush Chutani: Oh, hello, everyone! Thank you to prana. So my name is ayush I've mentioned. I am a second year. Phd. Student. Ayush Chutani: So I. The project title is: we have t0 0ptimize the Single access Tracker, a performance in northern climate. It's a Ayush Chutani: part of a larger project which in close different studies. So

Ayush Chutani: that's what I do. I will move on to a little bit of like background Knowledge that why this is important. Ayush Chutani: So in the March of last month, last year we achieve the world Ayush Chutani: overall, achieve the first. They award capacity of solar. So, for example, if you know, like it took us, like Ayush Chutani: all of the solar. Ayush Chutani: probably like 60 years of development. And then, as far as climate change is concerned, if you want to mitigate Ayush Chutani: the climate Ayush Chutani: climate change. We would need almost like 68 terawatt so you Ayush Chutani: and that's only solar Pv. So you can see, like the amount of growth and the amount of solar panels we need, and the industry is growing almost at the rate of

Ayush Chutani: that 250% year on Year group. Ayush Chutani: So solar panels required space. So that's why we need to have studies in no areas Ayush Chutani: for the tacker optimization. It is a 2 year project. The first year is, we want to know how much snow on the single axis tracker is. So we want to develop a baseline measurement, and to do that we have a sensor based system which can give us real time data like Ayush Chutani: at any time how much snow is on those panels. And the second part is to develop the algorithms. Since solar single Ss trackers can move from east to west.

Ayush Chutani: So we, if there is no we want to develop a smart, algorithm and that can take an account of how much snow is on the panels and then Ayush Chutani: sheds no like. The idea is, if this No, the the panels are maximum tilted. That's no might shed off. Ayush Chutani: So that's the whole idea of research. So we are in at the end of our first year we are doing the baseline set up right now.

Ayush Chutani: and the as mentioned, the project is donated by area technologies. They already build world class thing license trackers, and it is funded by San Diego Labs through Department of Energy Solar and New Technologies office. Ayush Chutani: On the bottom you can see the team. Ayush Chutani: and on the right is how the area looks in snow. Ayush Chutani: Next site, please Ayush Chutani: this in general, I will give you a very, very quick idea of like how the sensor based system is.

Ayush Chutani: oh. Ayush Chutani: so all the on, the both the edges there are the images. So s0 0ur focus on this point is how to measure snow on the panel surface. S0 0n the top left corner is the laser-based sensors. Ayush Chutani: So what laser be sensor do is like it? It it reflects a layer beam on the surface, and then it that's the reference point. And then, if there is no then then that later travels faster, and then it calculates the amount of snow that is on the sensor. And then Ayush Chutani: the data. There is also on the bottom right you can see something called paranometers, and

Ayush Chutani: on the extreme right left corner is the ultrasonic base. So both we are employing both the technologies, one to measure snow on the panels and the other to measure. What is this? N0 0n ground to have a good idea Ayush Chutani: of, like what exactly is? No. And there is also a radar deployed that can measure what kind of snow it is. It is the that snow, dry snow, rain, or fleet, and at what times the snow falls, and this can all be collaborated into an algorithm which can correlate. And we are also using Ayush Chutani: image-based analysis. So a camera would all

Ayush Chutani: to employ image based algorithm it would be very easy on next slide. Ayush Chutani: So this and so this slide actually shows how the design development to the how we mounted like a laser sensor Ayush Chutani: on the panels on the top center. You can see how we made a custom right Ayush Chutani: to mount the latest answer that that can rotate with the the panels. So Ayush Chutani: fun! Fact about this is that this has never been attempted before in industry, because these sensors are made to measures. N0 0n on a fixed ground. So Ayush Chutani: so everywhere we log. This is the first time we are trying it so kind of like a novel approach. On the bottom left is the radar. How it is mounted like very high on a container, and the middle picture is how the

Ayush Chutani: 500 meters are mounted up and down, since our panels are by facial a by station means they can generate electricity from top as well as bottom. So we need to measure like how much solar irradiation is falling on them. Ayush Chutani: And this is a quick vide0 0f like how, when I say later, since it has to move with the Ayush Chutani: the panel. So this is how a single access tracker moves, and if you can see that vig which is fixed, and this is how it rotates from left to right. Ayush Chutani: So I thought like this was a I may just tell a story better than words. Janet Callahan: So in the Janet Callahan: these are collecting energy off of the front face, which is facing the sun and the back face, which is getting Janet Callahan: reflected. Sun off snow. Janet Callahan: Yes, the backside and I don't know if you guys knew that was out there. But that's been out there for a few years. Now. Janet Callahan: It's pretty cool, I think.

Ayush Chutani: Yes, and a fun fact is that with the global shortage of silicon material as a whole the cost of of mono facial and by facial are now very competitive. So Ayush Chutani: part of us getting a by facial was because there was no mono-facial available to buy. So we we ended up we the by facial ones. Which are Janet Callahan: we'd used to be very expensive now compared Well, and if mono facial. I'm making a sa if montefatial or 15 efficient by facial, what do you get like? 17 0r something like that? A little bit more? Yeah. Ayush Chutani: I'm i'm fascinated by that. Yeah. And if we can for the next 2 I will show you 2 video clips of like, how actually snow collects on the panels. And Ayush Chutani: oh. and how would they shed? And that's our hypothesis if you can get the first video.

Ayush Chutani: Yes, January 30 first video. So this is being calculated. This is being captured. So if you can see how the so this is the morning time, and the video is going very fast, frame by frame. On the left you can see how the angle of panel changes, and on the right you can see how Ayush Chutani: the generation is being conducted. So you can see, there is almost like a 4 t0 5 inches, like thick sheet of snow on the panel. So so as the sun is moving, the trackers are moving left to right, and then they follow a control. Algorithm When there is no sun they go back to the normal position. In the next video you will see you notice something very interesting. Ayush Chutani: So now, if we can move to the February. Ayush Chutani: So this is that more cooler video in my my in terms of this is this actually encapsulates what we are trying to achieve. So, as we can see, this is the morning time. Sun is up. It's 1130, and then in the pan. So Sunday is going over our head. The panels are flat

Ayush Chutani: now. It's the almost the afternoon time, and the panels are moving towards west, and then you will notice something. Oh, there it is, so you can see this is the whole idea behind, like if we move the if we increase the tilt angle, there's no might shed off. Ayush Chutani: So this happened naturally because of the generation, but our algorithm would do if it will measure the thickness of snow, and then any shade the tilt by itself rather than just following sun. So this is like a whole day of video in in in in 40 s. So Ayush Chutani: so that is basically incorrect. The whole project is about. Oh. and

Janet Callahan: so what you're trying to do is for one of the things you might be trying to do is Janet Callahan: cool. Ayush Chutani: Decide when your array should tilt in order to shed the snow, because enough melt has has taken place. Yes, there are like multiple variables I used to call Ayush Chutani: Basically, it's not just like always you can. Whenever there is no you can initiate the maximum till there are losses in going to the maximum tilt. Because if the sun is on work and you're we want to tilt on the east, you would lose electricity generation. Ayush Chutani: So that's why we have to do a like a smart algorithm. We call it, to capture all the parameters like wind, speed, snow, weather overcast, and all these issues. Ayush Chutani: So that's the idea.

Ayush Chutani: Yes. Janet Callahan: how much reduced is the solar generation. Is it like from 15%? Are you getting 3% or Ayush Chutani: so as of now. The hypothesis is, if there is a layer of snow, if you can see any white on the panels, the front side is generating no electricity. Ayush Chutani: So. But there are some other parameters like. There is some transportation is not like. Ayush Chutani: Okay, and that's what we want to capture, like how what thickness we can consider snow as fully opaque like. Is it like 1 cm of snow, is like fully opaque, or like half centimeter, is fully your pay, and this research study would actually be able to tell us, and we can actually tabulate all these results. Ayush Chutani: And after that I have a quick question, full question, probably so Ayush Chutani: on. We have her like snow, cause all these losses. But I want to ask everyone if they think it's no all bad or like. Is there any benefit of snow?

Janet Callahan: It so the question is, Does snow have any advantage for solar? Pv. Generation? A. Yes, B. No, C. I don't know Janet Callahan: people are saying Yes, they're guessing. Yes, overwhelmingly Ayush Chutani: well. If if they have actually try clearing snow off from their like residential. it's no panel. This everybody thinks no is bad for some of our panels. It destroys structures. And Ayush Chutani: so yeah, I guess, like everybody says yes. But I guess like the reason being. which is to. If have anyone has taken any of this solar course, or any Ayush Chutani: chapter on solar, the performance of Solar Pv. Actually increases with decreasing temperature. So, yes, less templated, means higher efficiency. But there is another reason which is called albedo albedo is the reflectivity of snow.

Ayush Chutani: and since no is very white and highly reflective on the ground. Actually, we want the ground surface to be white, then black, or like green, with grass. So s0 0n rounds. No is good on top of panels. No is bad. Janet Callahan: So, in short, that was the on certain congratulations. 87 person who actually said, Yes. Ayush Chutani: thank you Ana Dyreson: great thanks to you, I want to pass it to Shelby to talk about impact of snow shading and grid operations. Shelbie Davis: All right. Thanks. So I just wanted to quickly say that, as mentioned earlier. I'm: actually an online Ph. D. Shelbie Davis: Students. So

Shelbie Davis: I chose Mr. Michigan Tech because it's, you know, a highly regarded engineering school, but also it has allowed me to be a full time University instructor and get my Phd. At the same time. So i'm working with Shelbie Davis: Dr. Anna in doing some research. So my research Shelbie Davis: with Dr. Anna. Is it explores the impact of snow shading Shelbie Davis: on grid operations? So it's a great jumping off point from my Ush, where you can see that when snow covers the panels. Shelbie Davis: As I said before.

Shelbie Davis: you could have almost n0 0utput or n0 0utput, and s0 0n a broader scale and grid operations. How does that? How does that affect Shelbie Davis: supplying enough electricity to people who need it so solar installations? They are increasing in cold weather states, and this is reflected in the table on the right side of the slide. Shelbie Davis: I then. So this data is from the Solar Market Insight report. It's published by the Solar Energy Industries Association, and it shows the top 10 ranked States

Shelbie Davis: based on their annual installed solar capacity. It shows a comparison between 2,020 and 2,022, Shelbie Davis: so you can see that warm weather states they locked on the top 4 rankings in both years over states that fall in the top 20 for annual. So average snowfall are bolded. Shelbie Davis: and they make a surprising appearance in as the years g0 0n. Shelbie Davis: So notice that New York, for example, move from Number 8 in the rank to number 5, between 2,020 and 2,022, Shelbie Davis: and then Michigan actually moved from 27, which you cannot see into the this top 10 ranking to number 10 in 2,022 so that's pretty significant. So this increase in solar installations and snowy states can be due to market drivers, such as all in cost of Pb.

Shelbie Davis: Mit ctl, and government subsidies, high cost of electricity in some regions. So with this Pv. Increase in snowy states we may see a new challenge, and that is resource, adequacy. So what is resource? Adequacy? Exactly. 2. Shelbie Davis: Well, resource adequacy basically means that the available electricity capacity can meet load requirements or basically Shelbie Davis: provide customers with the electricity of what they need. Shelbie Davis: So the widespread use of solar in these snowy states it may create a larger dependence on still our energy generation. But then the question is, what about the snow?

Shelbie Davis: So when snow covers panels it blocks the light to the panels and reduces their output. As we've mentioned before. Shelbie Davis: so the fluctuation between no snow cover and significant snow cover on panels. It may make this resource adequacy, challenging in a grid with higher pv concentrations in these snowy states. Shelbie Davis: S0 0ur research focuses on including the impact of snow shading on high Pv penetration grids next slide, please. Shelbie Davis: So the question we'd like to answer is, how do energy resource managers ensure reliable electricity and snowy regions with growing solar installations.

Shelbie Davis: And s0 0ur objective is to simulate grid behavior with high amounts of utility Solar installations during snow scenarios. Shelbie Davis: So to reach our objective, we've broken down this process int0 4 steps, and you can see those 4 steps on the bottom of this slide. Shelbie Davis: So first we need to analyze the relationship between snowy states Shelbie Davis: and utility solar growth. So this was done to confirm the need for high Pv. Grid simulations in snowy regions.

It also provided insight into possible regions of interest. Shelbie Davis: S0 0ur findings we've already completed this step. Our findings are going to be in a following slide in a minute. The second step is to collect so adequate snow data. Shelbie Davis: So finding adequate snow data depends on determining the region of interest.

Shelbie Davis: verifying if the data separates snow and rain. Shelbie Davis: because snow covers the panels versus rain just rolling right off. Shelbie Davis: identifying appropriate temporal and spatial data resolution. So what's the time? What's the sampling rate

Shelbie Davis: of the snow depth. And then how closely. Shelbie Davis: how close are the sample areas. Shelbie Davis: Okay, so we're looking at that. And then. Shelbie Davis: considering how. Shelbie Davis: considering if we need to include climate change and how we include climate change.

Shelbie Davis: The third step is to develop a coded, snowshedding model at a power plant level. So basically trying to model or predict how snow will slide off of those panels. And you could kind of see how challenging that would be in the video that I use showed Shelbie Davis: where you you may have fixed panels. In some areas you have single axis, tracking and others. So, coming up with Shelbie Davis: a code that will model that. So for this step we need to consider the climate of the region, the region of interest. Shelbie Davis: the ambient temperature, the orientation of the panels and the panel types. This phase it actually includes designing, writing and testing as snow-sheding code. Shelbie Davis: And then the fourth and and last step Shelbie Davis: of our research is to incorporate the snowshedding model into a grid simulation, and this step it will quantify the impact of snow behavior.

Shelbie Davis: So Shelbie Davis: okay, go to the next slide, please. Shelbie Davis: So this next slide is just a a click overview of where we're at in in the 4 steps. Shelbie Davis: So currently we are collecting possible data sets that we will then use Shelbie Davis: in our coded model. So it's spring 2,023. That's kind of where we're at, and then we've actually completed step one analyzing the relationship between the snowy states and utility solar growth. Shelbie Davis: And i'll show those results in the next slide. So in summer 2023 0, sorry! Shelbie Davis: So I was just going to mention really quick summer, 2023. We plan to do the the shedding, snowsheding code and then fall 2023, we'll try and introduce that into an actual grid simulation. S0 0kay, so next, thanks Shelbie Davis: great. So to investigate Pd. Growth per state, projected Pv. Growth per state. We used reeds, capacity, planning model.

and Shelbie Davis: that allows us to look at how states are projected. Utility projection Shelbie Davis: of Pv. Installations, what that will be like in 2,050. So we chose 2 scenarios. We chose one scenario with a high demand for Pv. Shelbie Davis: And more Pv. Friendly public policies.

Shelbie Davis: and then we chose a second scenario that represents kind of a mid-case business, as usual, scenario with the same pv demand, and the same public policies that we currently have. Shelbie Davis: So for both cases we compared Pb. Capacity from 2,020 to the projected pv capacity in 2,050 and reeds separates the data by state. Shelbie Davis: So in figure, one on the slide, or i'm sorry figure a on this slide annual average snowfall is on the y-axis Shelbie Davis: and compound annual growth rate Shelbie Davis: from 2020 t0 20 t0 50 is on the x-axis.

Shelbie Davis: so states that have a compound annual growth rate of utility solar above 5%, and also those that experience more than 40 inches of annual average snowfall are marked in red. Those are those red dots Shelbie Davis: and some high snowfall states even see a 10% compound annual growth rate. Shelbie Davis: So that is for that high Pv scenario in reads. Now, Plot B. Next to it has a similar layout. Except that data is from the mid-case business as usual scenario, and you can see that there are still 5 states marked in red. You see a few fall out of the of that above 5% compound annual growth. Rate. But

Shelbie Davis: there are some that don't move a whole lot even in that mid- Shelbie Davis: and then figure C and D on the bottom. They provide a different perspective of the data that we collected. So these are bar graphs, and they show the utility pv capacity in 2020 Shelbie Davis: versus what is projected in 2,050. S0 2020 is in the blue, and 2,050 is in the orange. You can see if the States follow the same trend between the high Pv. And mid-case scenarios, however. Shelbie Davis: less overall. Pv. Is added in 2050 in the mid-case business, as usual scenario, which would be expected. So basically those results, this step one of our process suggests that resource, adequacy. Grid modeling Shelbie Davis: for high utility. Pv. Cases will need to include the impact of snow to ensure reliable electricity in the future. Shelbie Davis: and so with that i'll hand it back to Dr. Anna. Ana Dyreson: Perfect things she'll be Ana Dyreson: we. We do have one more pool question, but we we mostly wanted to wrap up and make sure we had time for Q. A. So

Ana Dyreson: we can launch that question. And while you're thinking of your Ana Dyreson: your other questions, we wanted to know what you think what portion of new power plant capacity this is only new power, built in 2,021, came from utility scale solar Ana Dyreson: so same range as before less than a quarter quarter t0 50 50 t0 75%, or more than 75%. Ana Dyreson: So what portion of new solar power plant capacity came from utility scale solar.

Ana Dyreson: So this is a interesting and and maybe a bit contrasting from our earlier one. Actually, again, the Ana Dyreson: the Webinar attendees are really smart, and they get the right answer. So it is. Be it's 29% of new power plant capacity overall that is from utility scale solar. But Ana Dyreson: there's an when you look at all the new capacity built, 15 0f it was distributed s0 29 plus 50 it means 45 0f All new capacity was solar and then on top of that 25 was when and so it's Ana Dyreson: I just. I like those statistics, because it really shows the transformation, even though only 5 0f our electricity around that comes from solar. Right now this transformation is happening right? So the new power plants that are being built are largely their variable, renewable sources. Janet Callahan: Good job. Audience. All right. So Janet Callahan: awesome.

Ana Dyreson: Yeah, thanks. Everyone for your time. Happy to talk about my research. you know. Shoot me an email check out my website, but we can Ana Dyreson: on some questions from the audience if there's anything. Janet Callahan: Yup. And so

Janet Callahan: Dr. Dyerson's email is just Janet Callahan: a D. Y. R. E. It Janet Callahan: S. O. N.

Janet Callahan: So there are a ton of questions out there, and i'm just gonna throw it at you to to start handling them. Ana Dyreson: Sounds good. Yeah. And Shelby and I, You feel free to look through the questions, too. And Graham one, if you would like. Ana Dyreson: So you're going to answer it. Click on answer, Live! And then, after it's answered, click completed. Ana Dyreson: Okay. So you just go ahead. If you've got one. Janet Callahan: I am saying that I have been typing as much as I can for the answers that I know. Ayush Chutani: Yeah, there are a lot.

Ana Dyreson: I'll click on them. Janet Callahan: all right. So we we got the answers about mush's, Russia's West, and vaseline, and all right this is a good one. So if you're at the 45 parallel do you set your full solar panel at 45 degrees, S. Steve Janet Callahan: and I. You said Janet Callahan: Yes. Janet Callahan: yes, sir.

Ayush Chutani: in in in in in simple languages. Yes, it is called the tilt of the panel, so let it even equals the tel t0 0ptimize the maxim outward. But due t0 0ther issues, like wind, speed, and structure framing, you would have to Ayush Chutani: go for like some something less so. For example, if you are at 60 degrees latitude. Ayush Chutani: Ideally, you want a 60 degree panel. But when the why might be another issue? So okay. Janet Callahan: and the furthest North solar installation is it in Red Deer, Alberta, as John and I use those of one as far as Alaska and Fairbanks, and as low as Antarctica. Janet Callahan: So Janet Callahan: all right. So then, what about ice? You answered a lot of these I usually

Ayush Chutani: can can ask, what about ice? Lower Michigan is getting less? No, but more ice storms are, so. Tell us about ice age. Ayush Chutani: So yes, the is another unknown factor at this point when we are reading papers, so I is considered as like a so most people consider as as like a transparent one. But for research purposes it is considered opaque. But with our studies Ayush Chutani: we have, we think, like, be able to get some data for ice to, and then we can actually encapsulate like, okay. There is a 5 layer of ice, and it only calls like Ayush Chutani: 2% losses in the energy generation. But as soon as solar panels start generating electricity, they heat up, and that causes further melting and snow shelling. So Ayush Chutani: So it is a kind of an unknown at this point for us.

All right. Let's move to the open questions. Now. Ana Dyreson: I saw a cluster of questions that could be that I think are related. Folks had ideas Ana Dyreson: does it make sense to? Is there ongoing research to make the surface more slippery to sense no more easily? Larry asks. And another related idea was, what about heating panels at certain times from Albert. Ana Dyreson: and maybe some windmills? Steve asks, Could some windmills be used to clear the panels? And so basically the answer is yes, to those questions, and there have Ana Dyreson: they have. Folks have looked at heating the panels in the past, and I, even just this last weekend, heard of the case of huge blowers being used to move the snow. But the question is like that takes energy right input. And so how much are you willing to pay? How much are you willing to waste Ana Dyreson: your renewable electricity just generated for moving the snow and so heating the panels is, has not been found to be cost-effective. So far plus as you said when you heat the panels, you know they're less effective. Ana Dyreson: But yeah, all those, I guess i'm saying, Yes, those things would work, and the question is, what is the most cost effective way to do this? Ayush Chutani: Yeah. I have seen a couple of vibration questions like, what if you vibrate the panel? So that was

Ayush Chutani: that that that idea comes intuitively to everyone in mind like, Why, don't you like employ like a vibrating motor, or like a vibrating back to. But it is a mechanical structure, and any mechanical engineering student would easily tell us that vibration causes more issues to the structural integrity than benefits. Ayush Chutani: and also it it takes energy. So we don't want to shake the whole bed in case there is a But yeah, that has been also being looked at. Ayush Chutani: not for our group, but the research studies are being done. Shelbie Davis: I saw one question asking about residential and asking if we plan to Shelbie Davis: investigate snowsheding on residential, and I don't do so much the the shedding. Shelbie Davis: I I mean. Shelbie Davis: I do it in a more a larger scale, you know, modeling the grid. And so, instead of coming up with ways to get this now to slide off residential. But I was just gonna touch on that, and say that Dr. Anna and I have discussed, after looking at a utility scale, grid model.

Shelbie Davis: meaning, just doing the utility Shelbie Davis: installations then going further into residential residential is going to be a lot more difficult, because there's significantly more variables involved. Shelbie Davis: So. But I don't know if, as far as the snow shedding specifically, if if Shelbie Davis: I you looking into anything like that for residential. Ayush Chutani: so so so employing single access, trackers and residential, I Ayush Chutani: the thing that would be any benefit. but I have to look for it.

Ayush Chutani: I will look, and then I can email back that answer. Ayush Chutani: Oh. Janet Callahan: so John wants to know where you got your t-shirt, I you! Ayush Chutani: Oh, this this was being a student. I look out for the Friday sales on Campus store so this was insane, and luckily I found one in my size. So Ayush Chutani: yeah, $10 for this t-shirt is a very good date. I think

it's available at the bookstore. Janet Callahan: Okay, John. Shelbie Davis: someone asked how long solar panels last their expected life. Shelbie Davis: So my understanding is at least 25 years on a is that Shelbie Davis: they they were talking about their small lights in their garden, because little less high quality. Then, of course, the the big installations. But

Shelbie Davis: yeah, the big ones they last for quite a while. Ana Dyreson: Yeah, there's some degradation known degradation of of the systems. Ana Dyreson: I think, less than a percent per year something like that. But it could vary between systems, and that would be. Ana Dyreson: You need to factor that in you know, when you're looking at a 25 year, life or something like that like it won't, perform like anything right it won't perform as well as it did on your one. But

Shelbie Davis: the warranties are usually around. I depending on what panel you get. Shelbie Davis: They can be 25 year. Shelbie Davis: maybe not 25 year output warranty, but a 25 year like hardware warranty. And they may have like a Shelbie Davis: slightly different output warranty. But yeah.

Ayush Chutani: There are some questions about Ayush Chutani: things which i'm less knowledgeable about the government policies specifically, and the anti Ayush Chutani: solar part, so I simply say I should not be able to answer those questions. Janet Callahan: I might know the answer. Read, read one out. Ayush Chutani: Oh. so there was this one. Ayush Chutani: How does your work get impacted by many anti solar operations exist many signs along the road and roads in Michigan and Indiana say, ban solar factories.

Ayush Chutani: So Ana Dyreson: yeah, that's a that's a a great and relevant question. It's kind of socioeconomic right? Like what Ana Dyreson: large scale manufacturing like resistance, large scale manufacturing environmental concerns. So I don't have one succinct answer for that but Ana Dyreson: nothing's a silver bullet, right? You know. You have to account for the lifecycle impacts of any technology you choose. Ayush Chutani: Yeah. as a climate enthusiast. So being so I Ayush Chutani: just to, I guess, to shout out to United Nations Cop. I have been t0 2 cops already, and

Ayush Chutani: I am iphone on the other end of spectrum that promotes Ayush Chutani: It's a climate change or climate mitigation policies. So I, If people are putting Band solar, then I would. Huh! Ayush Chutani: So those who support can up their support by putting solar panels. That's the straight away Answer. I would say Janet Callahan: so. There's an interesting question from Becky Pen. If you know what kind of snow. Can you make all the Can you tell the the panels to go vertical? And do you do that out there at our solar testing facility Ayush Chutani: the going vertical.

Ayush Chutani: It's very rare, because the because of the mechanical limitations of the system. S0 0ur system can go negative 52 degrees to quality 52 degrees. But that actually is a part of the algorithm like based on the sensors and weather sensors. If we have, like of 8 h of snowfall predicted. we would actually go full Ayush Chutani: tilt to not accumulate. But then there is comes another piece which I mentioned wind speed. So if there is wind along with snow. You will do not want vertical snow panels because they will just blew away. So you want them horizontal. So you see, this is like a very good optimization problem like, what do you Ayush Chutani: focus more your generation or your safety? So yeah, that's what our algorithm would do. Ana Dyreson: So yeah, it Ana Dyreson: it depends. And and hopefully with that you should work, will make a step towards some general recommendations about what makes sense. Janet Callahan: and and i'm seeing some questions so, and I, we covered a little bit of this in the talk, but so Janet Callahan: what I'm remembering is once there's about, you know, like a Janet Callahan: I don't know a third of an inch of snow or or a centimeter of snow. They're not really making. They're not collecting power at that point. The the panels, would it? Would you say it's correct, I use

Ayush Chutani: so. Yes, but in our case the panels are by facial. So even if there is n0 0n top, they would be generating power from the reflective, reflective sunlight from the back, which is called diffuse sunlight. Janet Callahan: They would not be generating any power than that it will sound like that. Ayush Chutani: Yes, it is. It is called. They actually collect Ayush Chutani: power every time, because overcast conditions. We have observed that it is not 0. What's being generated at any time, even if it is overcast. If there is diffuse light.

Ayush Chutani: because we can see. So if you can see, there would be some sort of generation going on, and the whole point is, we want to increase that some generation to more generation. So, yes, even on cloudy and overcast days they would generate very little. Ayush Chutani: So it it won't be 0, but it will be something, but not not sufficient. Janet Callahan: Okay. So Shelbie Davis: good to know also to help, maybe understand the impacts of shading which can come from snow or trees or anything, is how solar panels actually work like at least silicon solar panels Shelbie Davis: is. You have light, and then photons come in, and they and they hit

Shelbie Davis: the silicon molecules, and then they dislodge electrons and those electrons then flow in this circuit. And so, If you Don't, have photons coming in and dislodging electrons. Shelbie Davis: then you're not getting current, and then you're not getting power, so Shelbie Davis: less light, less electrons, less current less power. So Shelbie Davis: if it's completely covered Shelbie Davis: you're not getting that current flow. Shelbie Davis: I live in the northwest, and we have a lot of evergreen trees. And so, when you install panels in like. So you know more of a forest. The area

Shelbie Davis: the shade does make a big difference. Janet Callahan: Got it Janet Callahan: all right. Other questions to answer, i'm leaving. I i'm not monitoring what's been answered, and what hasn't been answered, because there's so many. There's so many good questions. Janet Callahan: I mean what I often do. It's at around this time of when it's coming up in the hour, and I I think i'm gonna do this today is I want to thank the audience Janet Callahan: for joining us, and I'm going to invite our team to stay on and answer more questions until about 7 15. But I just really want to thank our husky by the audience for joining us. I'm learning so much. I'm i'm kind very motivated to install solar here now.

Janet Callahan: and this, which which brings me all much more questions about economics. But thank you, everybody for and and thank you. Gosh, thank you, Anna. Thank you, Shelby. Thank you. I use. I'm very. I wish I was back Janet Callahan: getting my Phd. Again. I would be. I would want to join on this group. I think this is a really exciting topic. So we're gonna Ana Dyreson: all right. You guys pick the questions. Yeah.

2023-02-28 07:39

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