# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
10 Automated Cleaning System for Solar Panels
Alex Perez
Austin Delveaux
Prudhvie Gudapati
uma Lath design_document4.pdf
Team Members:
- Austin Delveaux (austind3)
- Prudhvie Gudapati (prg3)
- Alexander Perez (apere46)

# Problem

Solar panel arrays on solar farms suffer from decreased efficiency due to dust/dirt build up especially in the Southwestern United States. Currently, the best option for removing the build up is teams with handheld brushes and cleaning fluid which is time consuming and requires extra labor.

# Solution

Our idea to make this an automated task is to take data from the power output of the solar panel and from this determine the necessity to clean it. We will be using a current meter to monitor the output current from the solar cell and a cleaning system that can be either wash and wipe or just wipe that is told to clean from a remote location. The system will also be able to clear blockage on the solar panel like snow or animals via a notification being sent to a supervisor’s or customer’s phone that a wipe may be necessary.

# Solution Components

## Current Meter

From the current meter we will be able to determine the output of the solar cell and depending on the threshold that we want to set, as losing enough power that is more than the power it takes to clean, will allow us to see it as reasonable to clean. Data of the solar panel output will also be tracked to detect build-up over the course of several hours/days.

## Motors

We will use the motors to move a wiper up and down the solar panel to clean off anything that is obstructing the solar panel.

## Microcontroller

A microcontroller will be used to gather data from the current meters and calculate the chance that dust or other debris is blocking the solar panel and will activate the cleaning system made up of the sprinkler, motors and wipers. From the decrease in current we are able to determine the efficiency drop once the efficiency drops so much the cleaning process will be initiated.

## Water pump and sprinkler

This will be used to spray, when told to either automatically from output data and microcontroller or remotely by the owner/user, a cleaning solution before the wiper is initiated to allow for cleaning of dust off of the solar panel.

## Battery system to power cleaning system

With the battery system it will be charged from the solar panel in a way that does not significantly impact the power output and when fully charged it will remain until it needs to be used to power the cleaning system.

## Remote access to collected data

With remote access to the data we will be able, from any location, to get an alert when the power reaches a threshold, determined by us and the tradeoff power.This will allow us to make sure that the system is cleaning properly and that the solar panel is returned to normal power output.

# Criterion for success

Energy output after cleaning is 25% to 35% greater than the output before the cleaning process
Energy output of the solar panel is significantly greater than energy consumed by our system
Owner/User gets real-time notifications about electric degradation
Ability to request wiper motion from remote locations.

Filtered Back – Projection Optical Demonstration

Tori Fujinami, Xingchen Hong, Jacob Ramsey

Filtered Back – Projection Optical Demonstration

Featured Project

Project Description

Computed Tomography, often referred to as CT or CAT scans, is a modern technology used for medical imaging. While many people know of this technology, not many people understand how it works. The concepts behind CT scans are theoretical and often hard to visualize. Professor Carney has indicated that a small-scale device for demonstrational purposes will help students gain a more concrete understanding of the technical components behind this device. Using light rather than x-rays, we will design and build a simplified CT device for use as an educational tool.

Design Methodology

We will build a device with three components: a light source, a screen, and a stand to hold the object. After placing an object on the stand and starting the scan, the device will record three projections by rotating either the camera and screen or object. Using the three projections in tandem with an algorithm developed with a graduate student, our device will create a 3D reconstruction of the object.


• Motors to rotate camera and screen or object

• Grid of photo sensors built into screen

• Light source

• Power source for each of these components

• Control system for timing between movement, light on, and sensor readings