Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
15 Automated Self-cleaning Solar Panel
Area Award: Solar Energy
Terry Green
Yann-Tyng Lin
Yousaf Abdul Salam
design_document0.docx
final_paper0.pdf
presentation0.pdf
proposal0.pdf
Our project is to design an automated solar panel cleaning mechanism that detects obstructions (bird droppings, leaves, etc.) on the panel and automatically cleans them away. Since solar panels are outdoors, they are prone to shading due to natural debris. For large solar installations in remote areas it could become difficult and/or expensive to monitor and clean hundreds of large solar panels. Because of the build-up of dirt on a cell in a solar module, hot spots are created and heat is produced instead of electrical power. This reduces efficiency and life-time of the solar panel. Our project would greatly reduce the amount of service calls for cleaning, resulting in lower operating costs in the long run. The project will be implemented using current and voltage sensing on individual solar cells in an array to provide performance feedback that determines if a cell has become shaded. Cloud shading will be taken in to account by programming and observing whether a whole group of solar cells have become shaded or just isolated cells. We will be adapting the car windshield cleaning mechanism for optimal cleaning (direction, speed, frequency). A soap/water mixture will be sprinkled during the cleaning cycle. Periodic cleaning will be programmed to occur in intervals based on the tradeoff between power consumption and cleaning effectiveness. For example, solar panels located in areas with high bird populations would require more frequent periodic cleaning. Our project will incorporate power electronics, microcontroller programming and control systems for motors.

Recovery-Monitoring Knee Brace

Dong Hyun Lee, Jong Yoon Lee, Dennis Ryu

Featured Project

Problem:

Thanks to modern technology, it is easy to encounter a wide variety of wearable fitness devices such as Fitbit and Apple Watch in the market. Such devices are designed for average consumers who wish to track their lifestyle by counting steps or measuring heartbeats. However, it is rare to find a product for the actual patients who require both the real-time monitoring of a wearable device and the hard protection of a brace.

Personally, one of our teammates ruptured his front knee ACL and received reconstruction surgery a few years ago. After ACL surgery, it is common to wear a knee brace for about two to three months for protection from outside impacts, fast recovery, and restriction of movement. For a patient who is situated in rehabilitation after surgery, knee protection is an imperative recovery stage, but is often overlooked. One cannot deny that such a brace is also cumbersome to put on in the first place.

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Solution:

Our group aims to make a wearable device for people who require a knee brace by adding a health monitoring system onto an existing knee brace. The fundamental purpose is to protect the knee, but by adding a monitoring system we want to provide data and a platform for both doctor and patients so they can easily check the current status/progress of the injury.

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Audience:

1) Average person with leg problems

2) Athletes with leg injuries

3) Elderly people with discomforts

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Equipment:

Temperature sensors : perhaps in the form of electrodes, they will be used to measure the temperature of the swelling of the knee, which will indicate if recovery is going smoothly.

Pressure sensors : they will be calibrated such that a certain threshold of force must be applied by the brace to the leg. A snug fit is required for the brace to fulfill its job.

EMG circuit : we plan on constructing an EMG circuit based on op-amps, resistors, and capacitors. This will be the circuit that is intended for doctors, as it will detect muscle movement.

Development board: our main board will transmit the data from each of the sensors to a mobile interface via. Bluetooth. The user will be notified when the pressure sensors are not tight enough. For our purposes, the battery on the development will suffice, and we will not need additional dry cells.

The data will be transmitted to a mobile system, where it would also remind the user to wear the brace if taken off. To make sure the brace has a secure enough fit, pressure sensors will be calibrated to determine accordingly. We want to emphasize the hardware circuits that will be supplemented onto the leg brace.

We want to emphasize on the hardware circuit portion this brace contains. We have tested the temperature and pressure resistors on a breadboard by soldering them to resistors, and confirmed they work as intended by checking with a multimeter.

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